Costs and clinical consequences of suboptimal atrial fibrillation management
Steven N Singh
Department of Cardiology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA
Abstract: Atrial fibrillation (AF) places a considerable burden on the US health care system, society, and individual patients due to its associated morbidity, mortality, and reduced health-related quality of life. AF increases the risk of stroke, which often results in lengthy hospital stays, increased disability, and long-term care, all of which impact medical costs. An expected increase in the prevalence of AF and incidence of AF-related stroke underscores the need for optimal management of this disorder. Although AF treatment strategies have been proven effective in clinical trials, data show that patients still receive suboptimal treatment. Adherence to AF treatment guidelines will help to optimize treatment and reduce costs due to AF-associated events; new treatments for AF show promise for future reductions in disease and cost burden due to improved tolerability profiles. Additional research is necessary to compare treatment costs and outcomes of new versus existing agents; an immediate effort to optimize treatment based on existing evidence and guidelines is critical to reducing the burden of AF.
Keywords: atrial fibrillation, pharmacoeconomics, stroke, health-related quality of life
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