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The first European registry to evaluate the real-life epidemiology of atrial fibrillation ablation
Date:8/30/2011

Results presented today from the Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Pilot Study show that almost 40% of patients undergoing a catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation have no underlying disease associated with the arrhythmia, and precipitating factors are rare. The survey, which is a pilot survey from the ESC's EurObservational registry programme, also confirmed that symptoms are present in 86% of patients but vary considerably; symptoms include palpitations, fatigue, and shortness of breath or dizziness.

"The AFib Ablation Pilot Study shows that, while symptoms remain the major reason for an ablation procedure, patients are also looking for a drug-free lifestyle," said Professor Josep Brugada from Hospital Universitari Clnic of Barcelona, Spain, a joint lead investigator of the pilot study. "If we want to improve the quality of life of patients with atrial fibrillation, we have to find an effective technique which avoids anti-arrhythmic medication and its undesirable effects."

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common cardiac rhythm disorder, characterised by an erratic electrical activity of the heart. Over 6 million Europeans now suffer from the condition, and its prevalence is expected to at least double in the next 50 years as the population ages. The enormity of the problem is magnified by associated adverse events: increased mortality, stroke and other thromboembolic events, more heart failure and hospitalisations, and deterioration of quality of life, exercise capacity and cognitive function.

Much effort has been made to develop a definitive cure; anti-arrhythmic drugs are ineffective in many patients and have potentially serious side effects. There has thus been much research in the past decade into non-pharmacological alternatives for both the prevention and control of AFib.   Ablation techniques, usually performed percutaneously with a catheter, have proved successful in the treatment of AFib, particularly in the r
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Contact: Jacqueline Partarrieu
press@escardio.org
33-633-473-335
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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