Relation between achieved heart rate and outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation (from the Atrial Fibrillation Follow-up Investigation of Rhythm Management [AFFIRM] Study)

Howard A. Cooper, Dennis A. Bloomfield, David E. Bush, Michael S. Katcher, Michele Rawlins, Joseph D. Sacco, Mary Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Many patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) are treated with rate control and anticoagulation. However, the relation between the degree of heart rate (HR) control and clinical outcome is uncertain. We assessed whether lower achieved HR at rest and/or lower achieved exercise HR was associated with improved prognosis, quality of life (QoL), and functional status among patients in the AFFIRM study. Patients in the rate control arm and who were in AF at baseline and 2 months were included. Patients were grouped by quartile of achieved HR at rest (44 to 69, 70 to 78, 79 to 87, 88 to 148 beats/min) and achieved exercise HR following a 6-minute walk (53 to 82, 83 to 92, 93 to 106, 107 to 220 beats/min). QoL measurements and functional status were also analyzed. Complete data were available for 680 patients for achieved HR at rest, 349 patients for achieved exercise HR, and 118 patients for QoL. Survival free from cardiac hospitalization and overall survival were not significantly different among quartiles of achieved HR at rest (p = 0.19 and p = 0.8, respectively) or achieved exercise HR (p = 0.77 and p = 0.14, respectively). After controlling for covariates, there remained no significant relation between either achieved HR at rest or achieved exercise HR and event-free survival (hazard ratio 0.95, p = 0.35 and hazard ratio 0.98, p = 0.81) or overall survival (hazard ratio 1.03, p = 0.70 and hazard ratio 1.22, p = 0.13). Furthermore, there was no significant association between achieved HR and QoL measurements, New York Heart Association functional class, or 6-minute walking distance. After 2 months of drug titration, neither achieved HR at rest nor achieved exercise HR predicted survival free from cardiovascular hospitalization, overall survival, QoL, or functional status among patients with AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1247-1253
Number of pages7
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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