Practice Patterns Among United States Cardiologists for Managing Adults With Atrial Fibrillation (from the AFFECTS Registry)
Practice Patterns, Physicians'
The Atrial Fibrillation: Focus on Effective Clinical Treatment Strategies (AFFECTS) Registry was designed to examine atrial fibrillation (AF) treatment by United States cardiologists in the context of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and European Society of Cardiology guidelines after recent landmark clinical trials. Most patients in AFFECTS had AF without clinically significant structural heart disease or only uncomplicated hypertension. Among the all-enrolled population (n = 1,461), initial treatment strategies assigned were rhythm control in 64% and rate control in 36%. Among patients with either paroxysmal (n = 1,165) or persistent (n = 273) AF, 67% and 55%, respectively, were assigned rhythm control. The trend to assign rhythm control as the initial treatment goal decreased with age. In the rhythm-control group, most patients (74%) also received a rate-control agent during the registry, while 25% of those assigned to rate control received antiarrhythmic drugs. Most first prescriptions of antiarrhythmic drugs were for first-line therapy compliant with 2001 (76%) and 2006 (86%) guidelines. Most second prescriptions were for first-line therapies as well. Rates of serious adverse events were low. In conclusion, data from this study provide insight into community treatment patterns in patients with AF, most without clinically significant structural heart disease or with only uncomplicated hypertension.