Atrial fibrillation is a potentially disabling condition that is increasing in frequency and placing an increased burden on health care resources, Brieger noted. "Preventing this condition would have immense value. Identifying patients at high risk of developing the condition is an important initial step in this process," he added.
Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said it is not clear how this risk score would change clinical practice.
"While helpful from a research standpoint, the potential clinical utility of this risk score requires validation in other populations and further study," Fonarow said. "It remains untested whether detection of increased risk of AF will result in any change in care or improve clinical outcomes."
For more about atrial fibrillation, visit the American Heart Association.
SOURCES: Emelia Benjamin, M.D., professor, medicine and epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine; David Brieger, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., associate professor, Concord Hospital, University of Sydney, Australia; Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Feb. 28, 2009, The Lancet
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