The AFFIRM Study and Its Implications for the Pharmacological Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation

  • A. Capucci
  • G. Q. Villani
Conference paper


Thromboembolism is the major complication in atrial fibrillation (AF), and its prevention constitutes a major challenge in the modern treatment of this common arrhythmia. The embolic risk is not equal in all subgroups of AF patients but relates to the underlying heart condition: while nonrheumatic AF carries a 5.6-fold embolic risk, arrhythmia of rheumatic origin carries a 17.6-fold risk in comparison with healthy controls. However, nonrheumatic AF is responsible for the larger percentage of strokes (15%-20% of cerebrovascular accidents of ischemic origin). Another important factor affecting the risk of thromboembolism is age: cerebrovascular accidents associated with AF represent 6.7% of the total number of cerebrovascular accidents in the 50- to 59-year-old group and 36.2% in the over 80-year-old group [1, 2].


Atrial Fibrillation Cerebrovascular Accident Atrial Fibrillation Patient Rhythm Control Embolic Risk 


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  1. 1.
    Feinberg WM, Blackshear JL, Laupacis A et al (1995) Prevalence, age distribution and gender of patients with atrial fibrillation. Arch Intern Med 155:469–473PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wolf PA, Abbor RD, Konnel WB et al (1991) Atrial fibrillation as an independent risk factor for stroke: the Framingham study. Stroke 22:983–988PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wyse G, on the behalf of the Atrial Fibrillation Follow-up Investigation of Rhythm Management (AFFIRM) trial. Communication of American College of Cardiology 51st Annual Scientific session, 2002Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Capucci
    • 1
  • G. Q. Villani
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiology DepartmentGuglielmo da Saliceto HospitalPiacenzaItaly

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