Sinus Node Dysfunction Is Associated With Higher Symptom Burden and Increased Comorbid Illness: Results From the ORBIT-AF Registry.


BACKGROUND: Patients with sinus node dysfunction (SND) have increased risk of atrial tachyarrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation (AF). To date, treatment patterns and outcomes of patients with SND and AF have not been well described. HYPOTHESIS: Patients with SND and AF have higher risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes. METHODS: Sinus node dysfunction was defined clinically, based on treating physician. Treatment patterns were described and logistic regression analysis performed to assess outcomes. RESULTS: Overall, 1710 (17.7%) out of 9631 patients had SND at enrollment. Patients with SND and AF had increased comorbid medical illnesses, more severe symptoms (European Heart Rhythm Association class IV: 17.5% vs 13.9%; P = 0.0007), and poorer quality of life (median 12-month Atrial Fibrillation Effect on Quality of Life score: 79.6 vs 85.2; P = 0.0008). There were no differences in AF management strategy between patients with SND and those without (rate control, 69.7% vs 67.7%; rhythm control, 30.0% vs 32.0%; P = 0.11). After adjustment, patients with SND were more likely than those without SND to progress from paroxysmal AF at baseline to persistent or permanent AF at any follow-up, or persistent AF at baseline to permanent AF at any follow-up (odds ratio: 1.23, 95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.49, P = 0.035). However, there was no association between SND and major risk-adjusted outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Sinus node dysfunction is present in 1 of 6 patients with AF and is associated with increased comorbidities and higher symptom burden. However, SND is not associated with an increase in major risk-adjusted outcomes.





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Publication Info

Jackson, Larry R, Sung Hee Kim, Jonathan P Piccini, Bernard J Gersh, Gerald V Naccarelli, James A Reiffel, James Freeman, Laine Thomas, et al. (2016). Sinus Node Dysfunction Is Associated With Higher Symptom Burden and Increased Comorbid Illness: Results From the ORBIT-AF Registry. Clin Cardiol, 39(2). pp. 119–125. 10.1002/clc.22504 Retrieved from

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Larry Ronald Jackson

Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Jackson is a physician-scientist with clinical expertise in adult clinical cardiac electrophysiology. His research focuses on identifying determinants of racial/ethnic differences in arrhythmia care and the development and implementation of patient-centered interventions aimed at facilitating shared decision-making in populations that have been systemically disadvantaged with abnormal heart rhythm conditions. Dr. Jackson has an advanced degree (MHSc) in clinical and qualitative research methodology and is a member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. His research skills, obtained during his time at the Duke Clinical Research Institute Research Fellowship, include formal training in large database analysis, clinical trial operations, scientific writing, clinical trial adjudication and statistical analysis. Dr. Jackson’s research funding consists of two career development awards: 1) National Institute of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-K01 focused on racial and ethnic differences in oral anticoagulation use in patients with atrial fibrillation and 2) AHA career development award focused on analyzing racial and ethnic differences in the use of rhythm control strategies in patients with atrial fibrillation.  Dr. Jackson’s long-term, overarching goal as a physician-scientist is to decrease racial and ethnic disparities in arrhythmia care for patients with abnormal heart rhythm conditions.


Jonathan Paul Piccini

Professor of Medicine

Jonathan P. Piccini, MD, MHS, FACC, FAHA, FHRS is a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist and Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He is the Director of the Cardiac Electrophysiology section at the Duke Heart Center. His focus is on the care of patients with atrial fibrillation and complex arrhythmias, with particular emphasis on catheter ablation and lead extraction. His research interests include the development and evaluation of innovative cardiovascular interventions for the treatment heart rhythm disorders. He has served as the chairman for several national and international clinical trials and registries, including the American Heart Association-Get with the Guidelines Atrial Fibrillation program. He is an Associate Editor at JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology and is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Dr. Piccini has more than 550 publications in the field of heart rhythm medicine and has been the recipient of several teaching and mentorship awards.


Laine Elliott Thomas

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Laine Thomas, PhD, joined the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and DCRI in 2009.  She serves as Associate Chair for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Deputy Director of Data Science and Biostatistics at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.  She is a leader in study design and development of methods for observational and pragmatic studies, with over 240 peer reviewed clinical and methodological publications arising from scientific collaboration in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, uterine fibroids and SARS-CoV-2 virus. She led the statistical teams on the HERO COVID-19, ORBIT-AF I & II, ACTION-CMS, CHAMP-HF, and COMPARE-UF clinical registries and secondary analyses of the NAVIGATOR and ARISTOTLE clinical trials. She has served as a primary investigator and co-investigator on numerous methodological studies with funding from NIH, AHRQ, PCORI and Burroughs Wellcome Fund, addressing observational treatment comparisons, time-varying treatments, heterogeneity of treatment effects, and randomized trials augmented by synthetic controls from real world data.      

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