Trends of Hospitalization for Atrial Fibrillation in the United States, 2000 Through 2010: Implications for Healthcare Planning

Study Questions:

To what extent have hospitalizations for atrial fibrillation (AF) increased in the past decade?


Detailed data on patients hospitalized for AF in 2000-2010 were obtained by analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database. Cost-to-charge ratios were used to estimate the cost of hospitalizations, and costs were adjusted for inflation and reported in terms of 2010 dollars.


There were a total of 3,960,011 hospitalizations for AF in 2000-2010. The mean age of the patients was 70 years. The number of hospitalizations was approximately 31% higher in 2010 than in 2000. The most prevalent comorbidities were hypertension (60%), diabetes (21.5%), and chronic pulmonary disease (20%). The inpatient mortality rate decreased significantly from 1.2% in 2000 to 0.9% in 2010. The mean length of stay was 3 days, with no significant changes over the 10-year time period. The mean cost of hospitalization increased significantly by 24% from $6,420 in 2001 to $8,439 in 2010. The mean cost of hospitalization was highest among patients with heart failure ($33,161).


Between 2000 and 2010, the number of hospitalizations for AF increased by approximately 31% and the mean cost of hospitalization increased by approximately 25%.


The increase in hospitalizations for AF in recent years is likely due to ageing of the general population and the increased prevalence of risk factors such as obesity and sleep apnea.

Clinical Topics: Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Prevention, Acute Heart Failure, Hypertension, Sleep Apnea

Keywords: Heart Failure, Comorbidity, Risk Factors, Obesity, Hospitalization, Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, Sleep Apnea Syndromes, United States, Lung Diseases

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