The association between atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death: The relevance of heart failure

Kyndaron Reinier, Eloi Marijon, Audrey Uy-Evanado, Carmen Teodorescu, Kumar Narayanan, Harpriya Chugh, Karen Gunson, Jonathan Jui, Sumeet S. Chugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of congestive heart failure (CHF) in the association between atrial fibrillation (AF) and sudden cardiac death (SCD). Background: Recent studies have reported the possibility of an independent association between AF and SCD. We hypothesized that a history of CHF is a significant confounder of this association. Methods: In a prospective case-control analysis from the community (The Oregon-SUDS [Sudden Unexpected Death Study], 2002 to 2012), SCD cases (n = 652) with clinical records available (including electrocardiography and/or echocardiography) were compared with age- and sex-matched control patients with coronary artery disease. The association between AF and SCD was analyzed using multivariable logistic regression and propensity score matching. Results: Cases (age 67.3 ± 11.7 years, 65% male) were more likely than control patients (age 67.2 ± 11.4 years, 65% male) to have a history of AF (p = 0.0001), myocardial infarction (p = 0.007), CHF (p < 0.0001), stroke (p < 0.0001), and diabetes (p < 0.0001). In multivariate analysis without considering CHF, AF was a significant predictor of SCD (odds ratio [OR]: 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.2 to 2.0; p = 0.002). However, in a model that included CHF, the AF-SCD association was no longer significant (OR: 1.1; 95% CI: 0.8 to 1.5; p = 0.45), whereas CHF was a significant predictor of SCD (OR: 3.1; 95% CI: 2.4 to 4.1; p < 0.0001). Results on the basis of propensity score matching were consistent. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a history of CHF, including both systolic and diastolic symptomatic dysfunction, may partially explain the AF-SCD association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalJACC: Heart Failure
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Diastolic
  • Ejection fraction
  • Ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'The association between atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death: The relevance of heart failure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this