The Atrial Fibrillation Follow-up Investigation of Rhythm Management (AFFIRM) study: approaches to control rate in atrial fibrillation

Brian Olshansky, Lynda E Rosenfeld, Alberta L Warner, Allen J Solomon, Gearoid O'Neill, Arjun Sharma, Edward Platia, Gregory K Feld, Toshio Akiyama, Michael A Brodsky, H Leon Greene
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2004 April 7, 43 (7): 1201-8

OBJECTIVES: We sought to evaluate approaches used to control rate, the effectiveness of rate control, and switches from one drug class to another in the Atrial Fibrillation Follow-up Investigation of Rhythm Management (AFFIRM) study.

BACKGROUND: The AFFIRM study showed that atrial fibrillation (AF) can be treated effectively with rate control and anticoagulation, but drug efficacy to control rate remains uncertain.

METHODS: Patients (n = 2,027) randomized to rate control in the AFFIRM study were given rate-controlling drugs by their treating physicians. Standardized rate-control efficacy criteria developed a priori included resting heart rate and 6-min walk tests and/or ambulatory electrocardiographic results.

RESULTS: Average follow-up was 3.5 +/- 1.3 years. Initial treatment included a beta-adrenergic blocker (beta-blocker) alone in 24%, a calcium channel blocker alone in 17%, digoxin alone in 16%, a beta-blocker and digoxin in 14%, or a calcium channel blocker and digoxin in 14% of patients. Overall rate control was achieved in 70% of patients given beta-blockers as the first drug (with or without digoxin), 54% with calcium channel blockers (with or without digoxin), and 58% with digoxin alone. Adequate overall rate control was achieved in 58% of patients with the first drug or combination. Multivariate analysis revealed an association between first drug class and several clinical variables. There were more changes to beta-blockers than to the other two-drug classes (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Rate control in AF is possible in the majority of patients with AF. Beta-blockers were the most effective drugs. To achieve the goal of adequate rate control in all patients, frequent medication changes and drug combinations were needed.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"