Prieto, Sebastian; Young, Pablo; Ceresetto, Jose M.; Bullorsky, Eduardo O.
June 2011
Medicina (Buenos Aires);2011, Vol. 71 Issue 3, p274
Academic Journal
Atrial fibrillation is the most frequent cardiac arrhythmia in adults. Its frequency increases with age, being its incidence 1.5% in individuals 50 to 59 years old and 8-10% from 80 to 89 years. Atrial fibrillation increases 5 fold the risk of suffering stroke and actually causes 15% of all strokes. Its management focuses primary in the prevention of thromboembolic phenomena, heart rate and rhythm control. Anticoagulation, when indicated, has demonstrated to be the main tool in the prevention of these thromboembolic events. Although the bleeding complication is frequent in this population and increases with age, anticoagulation benefits are greater than the risks of bleeding. Due to the clinically heterogeneous nature of this arrythmia and the difficulty of establishing appropriate treatment for each particular case, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, European Society of Cardiology and American College of Chest Physicians have established guidelines to improve the management of these patients. The review of this condition and the proposed directives can notably facilitate and improve the management of the patients with atrial fibrillation.


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