Atrial fibrillation (AF) is relatively less frequent in younger patients (age < 50). Recently, studies have suggested that early restoration of sinus rhythm may lead to improved outcomes compared with rate control, however the efficacy of catheter ablation for AF in young is scarce.
We included all hospitalized patients between 18 and 50 years with a diagnosis of AF from the Nationwide Readmission Database 2016-2017 from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Demographic and comorbidity data were collected and analyzed. Outcomes assessed included one-year AF readmission rates, all-cause readmission, ischemic stroke, and all-cause mortality. Subgroup analyses were performed for all demographic and comorbidity variables.
Overall, 52,598 patients (medium age 44, interquartile range 38-48, female 25.7%) were included in the study, including 2,146 (4.0%) who underwent catheter ablation for AF. Patients who underwent catheter ablation had a significantly lower rate of readmission for AF or any cause at one year (adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of 0.52 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.43-0.63] and HR of 0.81 [95% CI: 0.72-0.89], respectively). There was no difference in 1-year readmission for stroke or all-cause mortality between the two groups. Subgroup analyses showed a consistent reduction in the risk of AF readmission among major demographic and comorbidity subgroups.
Catheter ablation in young patients with AF was associated with a reduction in 1-year AF related and all-cause readmissions. These data merit further prospective investigation for validation, through dedicated registries and multicenter collaborations to include young AF from diverse population.

© 2023. The Author(s).