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Arrhythmia Watch Editorial team

Clinical Articles, Lead Article

Atrial Fibrillation And Heart Failure – At The Limits

Atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure are two major conditions which commonly co-exist and which are increasing within the ageing populations of developed countries. The challenges of treating these patients to improve outcomes was the topic reviewed by, Professor Dirk van Veldhuisen from University Medical Centre Groningen, The Netherlands, during the Cardiology and Diabetes at the limits 2011 annual scientific symposium, held recently at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

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Chronic heart failure is associated with an increased risk of developing AF. Similarly, AF can accelerate ventricular rate and increases the risk for progressive ventricular dysfunction and can exacerbate heart failure symptoms. AF and cardiac failure together constitute a vicious circle, however both conditions may actually represent markers of a common pathophysiological substrate.

It is important therefore to address a number of questions such as, to what extent does AF influence outcomes in heart failure; how important is it to restore and maintain sinus rhythm in heart failure patients with this arrhythmia; what strategies are useful to maintain sinus rhythm or to control heart rate; and can heart failure treatments prevent the occurrence of AF? These are among the questions addressed by Professor van Veldhuisen. His presentation can be viewed, along with the complete programme of speakers, which also includes a superb review of new anticoagulants by Salim Yusuf, now on the Lancet website The Arrhythmia Watch team highly recommends this novel and innovative programme which takes clinical medicine to ‘the limits’.

Published on: April 6, 2011

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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