Article

[Management and therapy of atrial fibrillation in geriatric patients].

Abteilung für Innere Medizin und Akutgeriatrie, Landeskrankenhaus Hochzirl, Zirl, Österreich.
Zeitschrift für Gerontologie + Geriatrie (Impact Factor: 0.74). 01/2012; 45(1):55-66; quiz 67-8. DOI: 10.1007/s00391-011-0268-0
Source: PubMed

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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