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Landmark ATHENA Study Findings With Multaq(R) (dronedarone) Shows 24% Reduction In Cardiovascular Hospitalization or Death in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation
Date:5/15/2008

opriate management, atrial fibrillation can lead to serious complications, such as stroke and congestive heart failure.

AF is a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart beat in an uncoordinated and disorganized fashion, resulting in an irregular and fast heart rhythm (i.e. an irregular heartbeat). Atrial flutter is an abnormal fast heart rhythm that occurs in the atria of the heart. This rhythm occurs often in individuals with other heart conditions (e.g. pericarditis, coronary artery disease, and cardiomyopathy). Atrial flutter frequently degenerates to atrial fibrillation. However, it may persist for months to years.

When blood is not completely pumped out of the heart's chambers, it can pool and clot. If a blood clot forms in the atria, it can exit the heart and block an artery in the brain, resulting in a stroke. Consequently, about 15 percent of all strokes result from atrial fibrillation.

The most common symptoms of atrial fibrillation include palpitations (a rapid, irregular, "flopping" movement or pounding sensation in the chest or neck), shortness of breath, dizziness and feeling of heaviness, or constriction in the chest. The disorder may even be more common than diagnosed, as patients may experience atrial fibrillation episodes that either do not cause symptoms or are not documented during their visits to the doctor.

About the ATHENA Study

The landmark ATHENA study is a randomized, placebo controlled, international metacentre study that evaluated for the first time a treatment on top of standard background therapy for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation in reducing morbidity and mortality by preventing cardiovascular hospitalizations or death from any cause. The study included 4,628 patients, which made it the largest ever outcome study of an anti- arrhythmic treatment for atrial fibrillation.

The ATHENA study objectives were to show a potential benefit of Multaq(R) on primary composite e
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SOURCE sanofi-aventis
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