Anti-arrhythmic treatement and elderly – Where are we now?
Authors: Ioana Dana Alexa1, Radu Ionut Rusu2, Gabriel Ungureanu1, Liana Mos 3
Affiliation: 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy ,,Gr. T. Popa ” Iasi, 2“Dr. C. I. Parhon” Hospital Iasi, 3Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, UVVG Arad
ABSTRACT. Atrial fibrillation (AF), a common and serious cardiac rhythm disturbance, is responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality in the population. Currently about 2.3 million people in the US are diagnosed with AF and, based of the US census, this number is expected to rise to 5.6 million by 2050. It doubles in prevalence with each decade of age, reaching almost 9% at age 80–89 years. It has increased in prevalence over the calendar decades, reaching ‘epidemic’ proportions (1). The risk of stroke increases from 1.5% in patients with atrial fibrillation from 50–59 years of age to up to 23.5% for such patients aged 80–89 years (2, 3). Although the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation is usually straightforward, effective treatment is not. We aimed to discuss how rhythm control of atrial fibrillation can best be achieved in elderly patients, the controversy over the rhythm versus rate control, and prevention of thromboembolism.