Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a growing epidemic and evidence of a relationship to socioeconomic status (SES) is inconsistent. We aimed to summarize the literature about SES and AF and defined two objectives: (1) To examine the association between SES and the risk of AF; (2) To examine the association between SES and AF-related outcomes in an AF-population.
Methods: We performed a separate search for each objective in Ovid-MEDLINE and Ovid-Embase. For objective 1, the population included was healthy participants and outcome of interest was AF. For objective 2, the population included were patients with AF and outcome of interest was mortality, treatment, ablation for AF, knowledge about AF, and morbidity.
Results: For objective 1, 12 studies were included. No consistent pattern for an association between SES and the risk of AF was discovered. For objective 2, 39 studies comprising 42 outcomes were included. The majority of studies showed an association between low SES and increased mortality and morbidity.
Conclusion: Low SES was associated with poorer outcomes when AF was present. These findings may imply that health-care professionals and policy interventions should focus on the promotion of AF-education and management among patients with AF and low SES