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Sepsis Plus Heart Rhythm Disorder Linked to Stroke, Death
Date:11/13/2011

circulation] collapse, increased systemic inflammation, and coagulopathy [clotting/bleeding disorder]. New-onset AF may simply be a marker for greater severity of illness and, thus, greater stroke risk," wrote Dr. Allan J. Walkey, of the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues.

The study appears online Nov. 13 in the Journal of the American Medical Association and will be presented at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

"Given projected estimates of severe sepsis incidence in 1 million Americans in 2011, it is likely that new-onset AF occurs in more than 60,000 patients with severe sepsis in the United States each year," the researchers wrote.

"Current guidelines do not address AF that occurs in the setting of severe sepsis or acute infection, suggesting that new-onset AF that occurs during severe sepsis is an underrecognized public health problem. If our findings of increased stroke and death in the setting of AF and severe sepsis are replicated in other data sets, then it will be important to examine management strategies that might diminish the risk of adverse outcomes associated with AF during severe sepsis."

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about atrial fibrillation.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, news release, Nov. 10, 2011


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