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Management of atrial fibrillation and anticoagulant therapies 

Management of atrial fibrillation and anticoagulant therapies
Chapter:
Management of atrial fibrillation and anticoagulant therapies
Source:
Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine (3 edn)
Author(s):

Mark O’Neill

, John Whitaker

, Jonathan Birns

, and Matthew Wright

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0103

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common supraventricular arrhythmia which is commonly found in older adults. It is associated with an increased risk of stroke and has a detrimental effect on quality of life. Management of AF involves an attempt to reduce the increased risk of stroke and to treat the symptoms that result from a high (or low) ventricular rate as well as, in some cases, the atrial rhythm itself. The management of AF involves a comprehensive assessment of a patient’s individual stroke and bleeding risk and a careful documentation of the impact of their symptoms on quality of life. Treatment options range from conservative to highly invasive. Selecting the appropriate combination from the range of options necessitates an understanding of the risks and benefits of each, so that the patient and physician can jointly identify the most appropriate management strategy.

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