In-hospital management of patients with atrial flutter.
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the use of drugs or procedures for management of atrial flutter (AFl) in routine clinical practice. We describe the extent of use of conversion therapies during AFl hospitalizations. METHODS: We examined hospitalizations for primary diagnoses of AFl using hospital claims from January 2000 to December 2004. Patients who received antiarrhythmic drugs, ablation, and/or electrical cardioversion for AFl were categorized as receiving a conversion therapy. Characteristics associated with use of conversion therapy versus no conversion therapy were determined. RESULTS: The study cohort included 19,825 hospitalizations. Of these, 13,059 (65.9%) included in-hospital use of > or =1 conversion therapies. Care by a noncardiologist (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.37, 95% CI 0.33-0.41), female sex (adjusted OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.79-0.90), nonwhite race (adjusted OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.74-0.92), and increasing age >70 years (adjusted OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.85-0.91) were associated with lower odds of conversion versus no-conversion therapy. Cardiomyopathy (adjusted OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.17-1.51), heart failure (adjusted OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.06-1.28), coronary artery disease (adjusted OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.05-1.22), secondary diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (adjusted OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.18-1.38), and hospitalization in 2000 or 2001 versus later years (adjusted OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.12-1.33) were associated with greater odds of conversion therapy versus no conversion therapy. CONCLUSION: One or more methods of conversion to sinus rhythm were used in two thirds of the hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of AFl. Greater use of conversion therapies in patients with other heart disease were expected; however, lower use among elderly persons, females, and racial minorities may indicate some disparities in use and warrant further study.
LaPointe, NMA; Sun, J-L; Kaplan, S
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