Background: Most of available literature on atrial fibrillation (AF) is based on studies in the developed world and included mainly Caucasian patients. Data about AF in other ethnicities is very limited. The aim of the current study is to evaluate the effect of hypertension (HTN) in Middle-eastern Arab and South-Asian patients hospitalized with AF from a 20 year national registry in a Middle-Eastern country. Methods: Retrospective analysis of all patients hospitalized with AF in Qatar from 1991 through 2010 was made. Patients were divided into two groups according to the presence or absence of HTN on presentation. Clinical characteristics and outcomes were analyzed. Results: During the 20-years period, 3850 patients were hospitalized for AF; 1483 (38.3%) had HTN on presentation while 2367 (61.5%) had no HTN. HTN patients were 11 years older, had significantly more prevalence of diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease and dyslipidemia on presentation. Underlying coronary artery disease and heart failure were significantly more common in patients with HTN while valvular and rheumatic heart disease was more common in non-HTN patients. The in-hospital mortality and stroke rates were significantly higher in HTN patients (5.3% versus 3.5%, and 0.7% versus 0.2% respectively, p= 0.001) [table]. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that in a cohort of Middle-eastern Arab and South-Asian patients hospitalized with AF, HTN is significantly associated with worse in-hospital outcomes. Our study underscores the need to study AF in different ethnicities.


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