BACKGROUND - The purpose of this study is to determine if antioxidant supplementation influences the incidence of atrial arrhythmias in trauma intensive care unit (ICU) patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - In this retrospective pre-post study, critically ill injured patients aged ≥18 years, admitted to a single-center trauma ICU for ≥48 hours were eligible for inclusion. The control group consists of patients admitted from January 2000 to September 2005, before routine antioxidant supplementation in our ICU. The antioxidant group consists of patients admitted from October 2005 to June 2011 who received an antioxidant protocol for ≥48 hours. The primary outcome is the incidence of atrial arrhythmias in the first 2 weeks of hospitalization or before discharge.
RESULTS - Of the 4699 patients, 1622 patients were in the antioxidant group and 2414 patients were in the control group. Adjusted for age, sex, year, injury severity, past medical history, and medication administration, the unadjusted incidence of atrial arrhythmias was 3.02% in the antioxidant group versus 3.31% in the control group, with no adjusted difference in atrial arrhythmias among those exposed to antioxidants (odds ratio: 1.31 [95% confidence interval: 0.46, 3.75], P = 0.62). Although there was no change in overall mortality, the expected adjusted survival of patients in those without antioxidant therapy was lower (odds ratio: 0.65 [95% confidence interval: 0.43, 0.97], P = 0.04).
CONCLUSIONS - ICU antioxidant supplementation did not decrease the incidence of atrial arrhythmias, nor alter the time from admission to development of arrhythmia. A longer expected survival time was observed in the antioxidant group compared with the control group but without a change in overall mortality between groups.
Published by Elsevier Inc.