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Anticoagulation Therapy for Stroke Prevention

AF and stroke

Read time: 60 mins
Last updated:24th Nov 2021
Published:24th Nov 2021

Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, and strokes seem to be becoming more prevalent1–3. Discover more on the:

  • Increased risk of stroke in AF patients
  • Increasing prevalence and burden of AF and stroke
  • Pathophysiology of stroke in AF4

Atrial fibrillation: an important stroke risk factor

Atrial fibrillation (AF) patients can present with a wide range of sometimes debilitating symptoms, disease patterns and comorbidities.

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Epidemiology of stroke and atrial fibrillation

Stroke

Stroke is ranked as the second leading cause of death worldwide with an annual mortality rate of about 5.5 million. The burden of stroke not only lies in the high mortality, but also in the high morbidity, since up to 50% of survivors end up being chronically disable16.

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Classification of atrial fibrillation 

Atrial fibrillation (AF) can present in several ways and correct classification can guide the choice of treatment. AF can present from a single isolated episode to a constant arrhythmia (Table 2). 

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Pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation

A network of pathways influences the onset and persistence of atrial fibrillation

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Burden of atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) impairs patients’ quality of life and accounts for up to 2% of healthcare budgets; stroke and hospitalisations drive the costs.

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References

  1. Wyndham CR. Atrial fibrillation: The most common arrhythmia. Tex Heart Inst J. 2000;27(3):257–267.
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