Prevalence, pathogenesis, and impact of atrial fibrillation

Sanoski, Cynthia A.
May 2010
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;5/2/2010 Supplement, pS11
Academic Journal
Purpose. To describe the prevalence, pathophysiology, and consequences of atrial fibrillation (AF) and the risk factors for the rhythm disturbance. Summary. The prevalence of AF, a common age-related disorder that causes substantial morbidity and mortality, is increasing. Structural heart disease (e.g., coronary heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, valvular heart disease) is a common comorbidity of and risk factor for AF, although various other factors have been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of this disorder. The risk for AF and ischemic stroke, a major complication of AF, can be estimated using risk-scoring systems. The rate of hospitalization for AF and the costs of treating AF are increasing in the United States. Conclusion. Understanding the pathogenesis of and risk factors for AF and using risk-scoring systems to estimate the risk for AF and stroke can facilitate treatment of this rhythm disorder and potentially minimize its morbidity, mortality, and costs. INSET: Patient case.


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