JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

[Therapeutic approach to the epidemic of atrial fibrillation]

Valetín Fuster
Revista Española de Cardiología 2002, 55: 27-32
15626353
Atrial fibrillation is the most frequent arrhythmia found in clinical practice and its prevalence increases with age which explains why it has reached epidemic proportions. The associated risk of thromboembolism and mortality worsen the prognosis in older patients with cardiac abnormalities. There are three kinds of atrial fibrillation according to the clinical relevance of the presentation: paroxysmal, persistent and permanent. Due to the clinically heterogeneous nature of this arrhythmia (it occurs with or without associated heart disease or symptom) and the difficulty of establishing appropriate treatment for each particular case, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and European Society of Cardiology, have established guidelines for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation. These guidelines were obtained through consensus by a Committee of Experts, after an exhaustive review of the most relevant English literature on atrial fibrillation in human beings from 1980 to 2000. The recent publication of these guidelines should facilitate and notably improve the management of patients with atrial fibrillation.

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