First Study Of Its Kind To Show Heart Procedure Reduces Stroke Risk In Patients With Atrial Fibrillation Despite Other Factors
New study published in HeartRhythm coincides with Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month and the Heart Rhythm Society’s third annual ‘AFib Feels Like’ campaign to help educate the public
A new study shows catheter ablation, a common procedure used to treat heart rhythm disorders, may reduce stroke risk for those with atrial fibrillation (AF) – the most common arrhythmia. The multicenter study, published in the September edition of HeartRhythm,the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), is the first to show AF ablation patients have significantly lower risk of stroke compared to AF patients who do not undergo ablation regardless of stroke risk profile.
The study included a total of 37,908 patients representing three different groups: patients with AF who had undergone ablation (4,212), patients with AF who did not undergo ablation (16,848), and patients without a history of AF (16,848). Patients were enrolled from the large, ongoing Intermountain Atrial Fibrillation Study Registry and were followed for at least three years. The patients were matched according to the CHADS2 risk profile, which is based on risk according to congestive heart failure, hypertension, age, diabetes, and stroke symptoms.
Across all risk profiles and ages, AF patients with ablation had a lower long-term risk of stroke compared to patients without ablation. There was a significantly higher rate in those patients with AF who did not undergo ablation (590 patients,) compared to those with AF who underwent ablation (61 patients) and those with no history of AF (242 patients).