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Atrial fibrillation patient website launched by ESC

A website for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) has been introduced by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The site afibmatters.org was launched at EHRA EUROPACE 2013, held recently in Athens, Greece.

AFib Matters was put together by a multidisciplinary, international task force of expert clinicians and patient representatives. It outlines what AF is, symptoms, complications, types of drugs, and the need for stroke prevention. A section is devoted to frequently asked questions.

Professor Gregory YH Lip (Birmingham, UK), who was Chairman of the Task Force responsible for the development of the website, said: “AF is common and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Patients can be extremely symptomatic and distressed, and may have a very poor quality of life.”

He added: “Patients with AF often have questions or misconceptions about their condition, such as whether they can travel, should they avoid certain foods, what can interact with their medication, and what is the risk of treatments. All of these questions are answered on the website.”

Professor Lip said: “The website also highlights the latest developments in the treatment and management of AF including the new oral anticoagulant drugs, ablation and devices. It is the authoritative website on AF and will be updated at regular intervals with relevant and timely information.”

“We know that education on AF helps patients understand their condition and improves management,” he concluded. “AFib Matters will boost awareness and understanding of AF and dispel misconceptions of this common and distressing condition.”

Studies have shown vitamin K antagonists (such as warfarin and acenocoumarol) and the new anticoagulants, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban are all effective treatments for the prevention of stroke in patients with AF.

References

1. 2012 focused update of the ESC Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation. Euro Heart J 2012;33:2719–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehs253

Published on: July 30, 2013

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ENDORSED BY

  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association
 

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