AIM: The purpose of this study was to compare sex differences of atrial fibrillation (AF) catheter ablation (CA) and to analyse the opportunities for improved outcomes.
METHODS AND RESULTS: All data were collected from the Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Long-Term registry, a prospective, multinational study conducted by the ESC-EORP European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) under the EURObservational Research Programme (ESC-EORP). A total of 104 centres in 27 European countries participated. Of 3593 included patients, 1146 (31.9%) were female. Female patients were older (61.0 vs. 56.4 years; P < 0.001), had more comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, and obesity), more episodes of arrhythmias per month (6.9 vs. 6.2; P < 0.001), and a higher average EHRA score (2.6 vs. 2.4; P < 0.001). The duration of the procedure was shorter in females (160.1 min vs. 167.9 min; P < 0.001), irrespective of additional ablation lesions added to pulmonary vein isolation. Overall cardiovascular complications were more frequent in women than in men (5.7% vs. 3.4%; P < 0.001). Furthermore, cardiac perforations (3.8% vs. 1.3%; P = 0.011) and neurological complications (2.2% vs. 0.3%; P = 0.004) were found in females in less experienced centres than in experienced ones. On a final note, at 12 months, AF recurrence rate was similar in females and males (34.4% vs. 34.2%; P = 0.897), but more females were still on antiarrhythmic drugs (50.6% vs. 44.1%; P < 0.001) when compared with men.
CONCLUSION: Females underwent CA procedures for AF less frequently than males throughout Europe, despite more recurrent symptoms. With the same success rate, severe acute complications remained considerable in females, especially in less experienced centres.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Catheter ablation
- Gender differences
- Sex differences
Field of Science
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database