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Editor's Correspondence
November 9, 1998

Atrial Fibrillation: Mortality, Stroke, and Medical Costs

Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(20):2265. doi:

In their recent study, Wolf et al1 reported that atrial fibrillation (AF) was associated with increased mortality, stroke, and medical costs. While we found their study to be interesting, 2 issues warrant comment.

First, there appears to be a discrepancy between the abstract and the body of the text. The abstract states that the adjusted total Medicare expenditures in 1 year were "8.6- to 22.6-fold greater in men, and 9.8- to 11.2-fold greater in women. . . . " However, both the text and Table 7 indicate that these numbers actually represent percentage increases rather than multiples of the baseline expenditure (8.6%-22.6% and 9.8%-11.2% increase in costs in men and women, respectively).