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Study advocates continued use of anticoagulants in patients with resolved atrial fibrillation

Treatment with anticoagulants reduces risk of stroke by two thirds

Treatment with anticoagulants reduces risk of stroke by two thirds

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia and is associated with a fivefold increase in the risk of stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Treatment with anticoagulants reduces this risk by about two thirds.

AF is described as resolved once normal cardiac rhythm is restored, but subsequent recurrence is possible. Long-term success rates of ablation, where some cardiac tissue is destroyed to block abnormal electrical pathways, might be as low as 20%. Such patients might remain at increased risk of stroke and could continue to benefit from anticoagulant prophylaxis.

In England, patients with resolved AF are excluded from the scheme that incentivises management of patients with AF in primary care. Guidance states that these patients should be removed


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