Atrial fibrillation (AF) can significantly increase morbidity and mortality. It is gaining in clinical and economic importance, being the most commonly encountered tachyarrhythmia in clinical practice. Stroke is the most serious complication. Evidence from AF antithrombotic treatment trials is reviewed, risk stratification of patients with AF is discussed, and recommendations for anticoagulation are presented.
- atrial fibrillation
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Web table 1 and additional references appear on the Heart website—http://www.heartjnl.com/supplemental
Competing interests: GL has received funding for research, educational symposia, consultancy and lecturing from different manufacturers of drugs used for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and thrombosis. He is Clinical Adviser to the Guideline Development Group writing the United Kingdom National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidelines on atrial fibrillation management (www.nice.org.uk).
This is a reprint of a paper that appeared in Heart, August 2006, volume 92, pages 117–82. Reprinted with kind permission of the authors and publisher.