[Management and therapy of atrial fibrillation in geriatric patients].
ABSTRACT Among geriatric patients, atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. In patients over 80 years of age, the prevalence rises to approximately 10%. Atrial fibrillation is associated with serious health implications, including a 2-fold increase in mortality risk and a 5-fold increase in stroke risk. In contrast to these facts, the current guidelines on the management of atrial fibrillation of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) contain only a short paragraph on these patients. Many relevant clinical aspects go without any comment. Thus, the purpose of our paper is to discuss those special needs of geriatric patients and their physicians which are not mentioned in the guidelines of the ESC. In our review, we discuss rhythm versus rate control, oral anticoagulation, outcome, prevention, falls, adherence, polypharmacy, dementia, nursing home patients, frailty, and geriatric assessment in consideration of geriatric patients. An extended search of the literature on Pubmed served as the basis for this review. Individual aspects of each geriatric patient should be considered when managing these complex patients; however, the complexity of each case must not lead to an individualized therapy that is not in accordance with current guidelines and the literature. A large number of papers which help us to answer most of the clinical questions regarding the management of trial fibrillation in geriatric patients have already been published.
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ABSTRACT: Antiarrhythmic medications used to maintain sinus rhythm have long been the treatment of choice in atrial fibrillation. The results of five prospective randomized trials comparing the efficacy and safety of rhythm-control to rate-control strategies are now available. Reflecting the epidemiology of atrial fibrillation in the real world, most subjects enrolled in these investigations were elderly persons at increased risk of stroke or death. All of these trials have had similar results; these studies have failed to demonstrate a clear advantage of one treatment strategy over the other. A prespecified subgroup analysis among 3091 elderly patients in the Atrial Fibrillation Follow-up Investigation of Rhythm Management (AFFIRM) study revealed that rhythm control was associated with a higher risk of death than rate control. This review examines developments leading to and the implications and limitations of these trials and discusses recently issued practice guidelines and the justification for ongoing efforts to develop nonpharmacologic approaches to rhythm management in atrial fibrillation.The American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology 14(2):73-8; quiz 79-80. · 1.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It is common practice to restore and maintain sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation and heart failure. This approach is based in part on data indicating that atrial fibrillation is a predictor of death in patients with heart failure and suggesting that the suppression of atrial fibrillation may favorably affect the outcome. However, the benefits and risks of this approach have not been adequately studied. We conducted a multicenter, randomized trial comparing the maintenance of sinus rhythm (rhythm control) with control of the ventricular rate (rate control) in patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less, symptoms of congestive heart failure, and a history of atrial fibrillation. The primary outcome was the time to death from cardiovascular causes. A total of 1376 patients were enrolled (682 in the rhythm-control group and 694 in the rate-control group) and were followed for a mean of 37 months. Of these patients, 182 (27%) in the rhythm-control group died from cardiovascular causes, as compared with 175 (25%) in the rate-control group (hazard ratio in the rhythm-control group, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.86 to 1.30; P=0.59 by the log-rank test). Secondary outcomes were similar in the two groups, including death from any cause (32% in the rhythm-control group and 33% in the rate-control group), stroke (3% and 4%, respectively), worsening heart failure (28% and 31%), and the composite of death from cardiovascular causes, stroke, or worsening heart failure (43% and 46%). There were also no significant differences favoring either strategy in any predefined subgroup. In patients with atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure, a routine strategy of rhythm control does not reduce the rate of death from cardiovascular causes, as compared with a rate-control strategy. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00597077.)New England Journal of Medicine 07/2008; 358(25):2667-77. · 51.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Warfarin is the primary therapy to prevent stroke and venous thromboembolism. Significant periods of nonadherence frequently go unreported by patients and undetected by providers. Currently, no comprehensive screening tool exists to help providers assess the risk of nonadherence at the time of initiation of warfarin therapy. This article reports on a prospective cohort study of adults initiating warfarin therapy at two anticoagulation clinics (university- and Veterans Affairs-affiliated). Nonadherence, defined by failure to record a correct daily pill bottle opening, was measured daily by electronic pill cap monitoring. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to develop a point system to predict daily nonadherence to warfarin. We followed 114 subjects for a median of 141 days. Median nonadherence of the participants was 14.4% (interquartile range [IQR], 5.8-33.8). A point system, based on nine demographic, clinical, and psychosocial factors, distinguished those demonstrating low vs high levels of nonadherence: four points or fewer, median nonadherence 5.8% (IQR, 2.3-14.1); five points, 9.1% (IQR, 5.9-28.6); six points, 14.5% (IQR, 7.1-24.1); seven points, 14.7% (IQR, 7.0-34.7); and eight points or more, 29.3% (IQR, 15.5-41.9). The model produces a c-statistic of 0.66 (95% CI, 0.61-0.71), suggesting modest discriminating ability to predict day-level warfarin nonadherence. Poor adherence to warfarin is common. A screening tool based on nine demographic, clinical, and psychosocial factors, if further validated in other patient populations, may help to identify groups of patients at lower risk for nonadherence so that intensified efforts at increased monitoring and intervention can be focused on higher-risk patients.Chest 11/2009; 137(4):883-9. · 5.85 Impact Factor