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Treatment for atrial fibrillation inefficient at preventing stroke

Posted Jul 10 2012 4:23am

A new report released by a collaboration of medical experts, the Stroke Association, the Atrial Fibrillation Association and Anticoagulation Europe, has warned that current treatment for atrial fibrillationA common abnormal heart rhythm causing a rapid, irregular pulse and failure of the upper chambers of the heart (atria) to pump properly. Abbreviated to AF. (AFAn abbreviation for atrial fibrillation) “does not offer the best protection against strokes.”

It is predicted that the rates of AF will double within the next fifty years meaning that it is essential for effective treatments to be implemented sooner rather than later to prevent increased mortality from AF and related conditions. GPs are being accused of taking the ‘easy option’ by a group of experts and MPs as part of the AF All Party Parliamentary Group (AFAPPG) who warn that prescribing the use of aspirinOne of the most used medicines. for AF is not as effective as anticoagulation therapy at preventing stroke.

AFAPPG are calling for increased screeningA way to identify people who may have a certain condition, among a group of people who may or may not seem to for AF in order to offer better protection and more effective treatments, particularly to prevent a rise in associated strokes; patients with AF are five times more likely to suffer from a stroke. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently approved two new anticoagulants for people with AF which are taken orally and are a cost effective method of preventing stroke in these patients. This report encourages the prescription of these anticoagulants for all at-risk patients.

Glyn Davies MP and chair of the AFAPPG concluded that “…we need to challenge the way we diagnose, treat and manage this potentially life threatening condition to further improve the outcome for patients.”

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