atrial fibrillation

Our recently published report examining the available treatment options for Atrial Fibrillation (AF) across Europe has found that millions of patients suffering with the condition don’t have access to a potentially life-saving treatment — catheter ablation therapy. Currently, 11 million people in Europe are affected by AF, a condition characterized by an irregular and often fast heart rhythm that results in an uncoordinated contraction of the top two chambers of the heart. This arrhythmia increases the risk of other potentially fatal conditions, leading to five times the risk of heart failure, an increase in the risk of stroke cardiovascular mortality. Despite these worrying statistics, the seriousness of AF is critically misunderstood, with a significant percentage of patients mistakenly believing it not life-threatening. Treatment of AF focuses on managing the irregular heart rhythm, improving symptoms and reducing complications — with the overarching aim of improving life expectancy and quality of life. Amongst the options available for the long-term management of AF patients in Europe are antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs) and the aforementioned catheter ablation. The report , which reviewed independent studies of current treatments, highlighted that just half of patients (52%) are well-managed by AADs yet, despite this, only 4% of eligible patients receive catheter ablation — a treatment that’s considered almost 10 times more effective in delaying AF progression than AADs. And this is not the only data about catheter ablation in the report that’s worth flagging — the potential positive results brought about by this particular treatment option are far-reaching, touching efficacy, quality of life, Adverse Events and healthcare costs. Let’s look at these statistics in more detail. There are sustained results with up to 94% patients free from arrhythmia recurrence after one year and 48% free from arrhythmia after four years. There is a greater improvement in patients’ quality...
In 2019, and in every corner of the world, pressing issues affect patients and their way of life. Consequently, this impacts upon their loved ones and personal, professional and social communities. There are conditions and diseases that receive a lot of attention and are broadly recognised and there are those that don’t. Atrial fibrillation (AF,) unfortunately, falls into the latter category and although it is the most common heart arrhythmia – affecting one in four of us over 40 years of age – there is a general misconception about AF amongst the general public. In fact, 45% of people incorrectly believing that AF is not a life-threatening condition. Our recent report, The Burden of Atrial Fibrillation: Understanding the Impact of the New Millennium Epidemic across Europe , aims to renew focus on this health topic and to protect more lives from this growing disease. AF is an irregular and, often, fast heart rhythm that results in the uncoordinated contraction of the top two chambers of the heart. This can cause blood clots leading patients to suffer AF-related strokes. AF sufferers are five times more likely to experience heart failure, 2.4 times more likely to experience a stroke and twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease. What worries me is that AF is one of the world’s most understated significant health issues. Estimates suggest that AF is responsible for up to 2.6% of total annual healthcare expenditure in European countries. Eleven million people across Europe are suffering from AF, with the disease being almost as common as stroke and cancer. Ageing will lead to more cases of AF. We believe that there needs to be greater awareness of AF and more done to detect the disease earlier in patients. This would potentially reduce the chance of complications and the burden...