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National study suggests it’s time to rethink how atrial fibrillation is treated, The Canadian Business Journal

MONTREAL, Nov. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Physician researchers at the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) presented new data today at the American Heart Association’s Advanced Science Session. The data, published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that catheter ablation may be better than antiarrhythmic drugs in halting disease progression.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting approximately 1-2% of the general population. Treatment guidelines recommend trying drug therapy to maintain normal atrial heart rhythm before considering catheter ablation. However, these drugs have a limited ability to maintain normal heart rhythm and have significant side effects. Catheter ablation is thought to be superior to antiarrhythmic drugs in maintaining normal (sinus) rhythm and improving quality of life in patients who are already drug-ineffective; It was previously unknown whether ablation could prevent disease progression.

“By treating patients with catheter ablation right from the start, fewer patients will progress to a more persistent and life-threatening form of atrial fibrillation,” said MHI electrophysiologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Montreal. said Dr. Jason Andrade, First author of the EARLY-AF study.

“The data provide clear evidence that early invasive treatment may be a more effective way to improve the lives of patients with atrial fibrillation. It further supports the recommendation to pursue catheter ablation as an initial treatment strategy for patients.

Findings released today New England Journal of Medicinederived from a multisite clinical trial known as Early Active Intervention in Atrial Fibrillation (EARLY-AF).

In the EARLY-AF trial, a nationwide research team enrolled 303 patients with atrial fibrillation at 18 sites across Canada. Half of the patients were randomly selected to receive antiarrhythmic drugs and the other half were treated with first-line catheter ablation using cryoablation. All patients received an implantable monitoring device that recorded cardiac activity for her 3 years.

At the end of the three-year study, researchers found that patients in the cryoablation group were 75% less likely to progress to persistent AF compared to those treated with antiarrhythmic drugs. Over-follow-up catheter ablation was associated with a 69% reduction in hospitalizations and a reduction in serious adverse events.

In a previous paper, the same team showed that primary catheter ablation was more effective than antiarrhythmic drugs in reducing short-term recurrences of atrial fibrillation. Indicates to prevent progression.

The condition begins as an isolated electrical disturbance, but each recurrence can trigger electrical and structural changes in the heart, leading to a long-lasting event known as persistent atrial fibrillation. These long-lasting events are associated with increased risk of serious health conditions such as stroke and heart failure, and increased hospitalization rates.

“Atrial fibrillation is like a snowball rolling down a hill. explains. “Effective early intervention can help prevent the disease from progressing and can be life-changing for patients.”

Researchers say more effective early intervention would benefit not only patients but also the healthcare system. Medical costs related to atrial fibrillation are currently estimated to be 2.5% of his total annual medical costs, and are expected to rise to 4% within the next 20 years.

“Evidence increasingly indicates that it is time to rethink how we approach the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Effective early interventions can help keep people healthy and happy and avoid hospitalization. We can, and this will have enormous benefits for patients, their families, and our healthcare system as a whole.”

About the Montreal Heart Institute

Founded in 1954, the Montreal Heart Institute consistently strives for the highest standards of cardiovascular excellence through leadership in clinical and basic research, hyperspecialized care, specialized training, and prevention. It is home to Canada’s largest research center, the country’s largest cardiovascular prevention center, and Canada’s largest cardiovascular genetics center. The institute is affiliated with the University of Montreal and has more than 2000 employees, including 245 doctors and more than 85 of his researchers.

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National study suggests it’s time to rethink how atrial fibrillation is treated, The Canadian Business Journal

Source link National study suggests it’s time to rethink how atrial fibrillation is treated, The Canadian Business Journal

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