Atrial fibrillation and its effects on quality of life – the AFEQT questionnaire

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study on patients admitted to our clinic with atrial fibrillation during a 6-month period. Patients who did not sign the informed consent and those with low treatment adhe-rence were not included in the study group. Data was collected for all patients and included demographics, medical history and treatment; patient responses to the AFEQT questionnaire were recorded. SPSS, version 23 was used in order to obtain descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: A total of 105 patients were enrolled out of whom 63.80% were women, and mean age was 69.89 ± 9 years. According to the amount of time spent in AF, patients were divided into permanent (76.19%), paroxysmal (20.95%) and persistent AF (2.86%). Pathologies most commonly associated with AF were arterial hypertension (87.60%) and heart failure (85.7%). Duration of  AF correlated signifi cantly with the overall AFEQT score (p=0.005). Hence, the overall AFEQT scores in patients with paroxysmal, persistent and permanent AF were 55.49 ± 20.90, 53.47 ± 23.41 and 39.24 ± 14.11 respectively. Patients without HF scored higher (76.17 ± 7.83) in the AFEQT questionnaire than those with HF: NYHA II – 65.54 ± 9.42, NYHA III – 63.29 ± 9.05 and NYHA IV 55.24 ± 5.96 (p=0.002).
Conclusions: Atrial fibrillation leads to a decrease in the quality of life due to poor symptom control as well as a higher incidence of heart failure. Though literature data cites higher scores associated with the female gender, our results are discordant, possibly due to a higher prevalence of permanent AF among the women in our study group.

ISSN – online: 2734 – 6382
ISSN-L 1220-658X
ISSN – print: 1220-658X
The Romanian Journal of Cardiology is indexed by:
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CODE: 379
CME Credits: 10 (Romanian College of Physicians)