Document Detail

Epidemiology and management of new-onset atrial fibrillation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15152746     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common acute or chronic cardiac disorder that can result in significant morbidity and mortality. Its incidence in the United States is increasing. Projections suggest that more than 5.6 million Americans (50% of whom will be > or =80 years of age) will have AF by 2050. The American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and the European Society of Cardiology define AF as a supraventricular tachyarrhythmia characterized by uncoordinated atrial activation with consequent deterioration of atrial mechanical function. On an electrocardiogram, AF is characterized by the replacement of P waves by rapid oscillations or fibrillatory waves that vary in size, shape, and timing. Evidence suggests that histological changes exist in the atria of patients with AF, however, it is not known if these changes are a cause or a consequence of AF. Although the fundamental mechanism underlying the disorder is not known, clinical identifying factors are associated with the condition. These may be divided into noncardiac (thyrotoxicosis, alcohol use, electrolyte imbalance, certain pharmacologic and recreational drugs) and cardiac causes (any cause of enlarged left atrium, poor ventricular function, heart surgery). The principles of treatment for this condition are to stabilize the patient hemodynamically, simultaneously determine whether a reversible cause of the AF exists, control the patient's heart rate, determine whether the patient should be cardioverted or maintained in AF, and then develop strategies to prevent the most important complications of stroke. This article will describe in detail the acute management of AF as well as its epidemiology.
Khalid Abusaada; Sushant B Sharma; Radhika Jaladi; Michael D Ezekowitz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of managed care     Volume:  10     ISSN:  1088-0224     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Manag Care     Publication Date:  2004 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-05-21     Completed Date:  2004-06-17     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9613960     Medline TA:  Am J Manag Care     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  S50-7     Citation Subset:  H    
Department of Medicine, Drexel University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*,  epidemiology*,  etiology
Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use*
Middle Aged
United States / epidemiology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Cardiovascular Agents

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