open access

Vol 66, No 9 (2008)
Other
Published online: 2008-09-30
Submitted: 2012-12-28
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Original article
Episodes of atrial fibrillation and meteorological conditions

Andrzej Głuszak, Stefan Kocoń, Katarzyna Żuk, Piotr Aljabali, Andrzej Gluza, Krzysztof Siwek
Kardiol Pol 2008;66(9):958-963.

open access

Vol 66, No 9 (2008)
Other
Published online: 2008-09-30
Submitted: 2012-12-28

Abstract


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice. The natural history of AF tends to begin with short paroxysms which gradually evolve into longer episodes, frequently treatment-resistant, and finally take a permanent form. It is a polyaetiological condition and single paroxysms may be caused by a variety of factors. There is a prevailing belief that weather is a vital element affecting the functioning of the human organism. Accordingly, high variability in hospital admissions due to AF paroxysms may be associated with meteorological conditions.
Aim: To investigate the relationship between the incidence of AF paroxysms and atmospheric phenomena. Methods: A total of 739 patients participated in the study [52% females, aged 18-91 (mean=65 years)], hospitalised for AF paroxysms in the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) in 2005-2006. Patients with AF secondary to acute coronary syndrome, recent myocardial infarction, myocarditis, pericarditis, thyrotoxicosis, and disorders of the respiratory system, were excluded from the analysis. Statistical relationships were sought between the frequency of AF paroxysms and meteorological elements, such as: temperature change, atmospheric pressure, relative humidity, cloudiness, and wind speed. Using synoptic maps, such phenomena as weather fronts occurrence and baric systems were analysed.
Results: A considerable influence of a cold front and occlusion of cold front type on increases in admissions to CCU for AF paroxysms was observed. The absence of arrhythmia for many consecutive days was noted during the presence of stationary high-pressure areas. There were no significant relationships between meteorological elements and AF paroxysms. A seasonal distribution of AF episodes was found, with the maximum incidence in winter months and a decrease in the number of patients hospitalised from May to August. The impact of cold fronts may be explained by the effect of electromagnetic waves occurring in the zone of atmospheric changes, which may penetrate into buildings. On account of the translocation speed of electromagnetic waves, the effects may be felt many hours before an atmospheric front approaches.
Conclusions: Meteorological conditions may have some influence on the occurrence of paroxysms of atrial fibrillation. This study could serve as a starting point for further research investigating relationships between weather conditions and heart rhythm disorders.

Abstract


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice. The natural history of AF tends to begin with short paroxysms which gradually evolve into longer episodes, frequently treatment-resistant, and finally take a permanent form. It is a polyaetiological condition and single paroxysms may be caused by a variety of factors. There is a prevailing belief that weather is a vital element affecting the functioning of the human organism. Accordingly, high variability in hospital admissions due to AF paroxysms may be associated with meteorological conditions.
Aim: To investigate the relationship between the incidence of AF paroxysms and atmospheric phenomena. Methods: A total of 739 patients participated in the study [52% females, aged 18-91 (mean=65 years)], hospitalised for AF paroxysms in the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) in 2005-2006. Patients with AF secondary to acute coronary syndrome, recent myocardial infarction, myocarditis, pericarditis, thyrotoxicosis, and disorders of the respiratory system, were excluded from the analysis. Statistical relationships were sought between the frequency of AF paroxysms and meteorological elements, such as: temperature change, atmospheric pressure, relative humidity, cloudiness, and wind speed. Using synoptic maps, such phenomena as weather fronts occurrence and baric systems were analysed.
Results: A considerable influence of a cold front and occlusion of cold front type on increases in admissions to CCU for AF paroxysms was observed. The absence of arrhythmia for many consecutive days was noted during the presence of stationary high-pressure areas. There were no significant relationships between meteorological elements and AF paroxysms. A seasonal distribution of AF episodes was found, with the maximum incidence in winter months and a decrease in the number of patients hospitalised from May to August. The impact of cold fronts may be explained by the effect of electromagnetic waves occurring in the zone of atmospheric changes, which may penetrate into buildings. On account of the translocation speed of electromagnetic waves, the effects may be felt many hours before an atmospheric front approaches.
Conclusions: Meteorological conditions may have some influence on the occurrence of paroxysms of atrial fibrillation. This study could serve as a starting point for further research investigating relationships between weather conditions and heart rhythm disorders.
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Keywords

paroxysm of atrial fibrillation; meteorological conditions

About this article
Title

Original article
Episodes of atrial fibrillation and meteorological conditions

Journal

Kardiologia Polska (Polish Heart Journal)

Issue

Vol 66, No 9 (2008)

Pages

958-963

Published online

2008-09-30

Bibliographic record

Kardiol Pol 2008;66(9):958-963.

Keywords

paroxysm of atrial fibrillation
meteorological conditions

Authors

Andrzej Głuszak
Stefan Kocoń
Katarzyna Żuk
Piotr Aljabali
Andrzej Gluza
Krzysztof Siwek

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