Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm affecting the upper chambers of the heart in which uncoordinated electrical depolarizations lead to ineffective contractions. Approximately five million patients in the US have atrial fibrillation, and this number is expected to double to 10 million over the next 30 years. Advancing age is a major risk factor for the development of atrial fibrillation; new cases of atrial fibrillation are diagnosed in men over age 80 at the rate of 2% per year. Although several drugs are available for management of atrial fibrillation, the efficacy of these drugs may be limited in elderly patients. In this review, we provide an overview of management of atrial fibrillation, with special emphasis on pharmacologic therapy versus arteriovenous (AV) node ablation in symptomatic elderly patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)