The increasing prevalence and high hospitalization rates make atrial fibrillation (AF) a significant healthcare strain. However, there are limited data regarding the length of hospital stay (LOS) of AF patients. Our purpose was to determine the main drivers of extended LOS of AF patients.
All AF patients, hospitalized consecutively in a tertiary cardiology center, from January 2018 to February 2020 were included in this retrospective cohort study. Readmissions were excluded. Prolonged LOS was defined as more than seven days (the upper limit of the third quartile).
Our study included 949 AF patients, 52.9% females. The mean age was 72.5 ± 10.3 years. The median LOS was 4 days. A total of 28.7% had an extended LOS. Further, 82.9% patients had heart failure (HF). In multivariable analysis, the independent predictors of extended LOS were: acute coronary syndromes (ACS) (HR 4.60, 95% CI 1.66-12.69), infections (HR 2.61, 95% CI 1.44-3.23), NT-proBNP > 1986 ng/mL (HR 1.96, 95% CI 1.37-2.82), acute decompensated HF (ADHF) (HR 1.76, 95% CI 1.23-2.51), HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) (HR 1.69, 95% CI 1.15-2.47) and the HAS-BLED score (HR 1.42, 95% CI 1.14-1.78).
ACS, ADHF, HFrEF, increased NT-proBNP levels, infections and elevated HAS-BLED were independent predictors of extended LOS, while specific clinical or therapeutical AF characteristics were not.