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This study aims to investigate the clinical characteristics and therapeutic effect of radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) in elderly patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).This retrospective study included 668 patients with AF who underwent RFCA in our hospital from June 2010 to June 2015. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to age: group E (≥60 years old, n = 308) and group N (<60 years old, n = 360). Ablation endpoints included the following 3 points: (1) all preset ablation lines were completed; (2) all pulmonary veins were electrically isolated; and (3) negative evoked results were achieved. The success of follow-up was defined as patients who did not have an atrial arrhythmia attack for at least 3 months without the administration of antiarrhythmia drugs.Clinical characteristics of elderly patients with AF: the proportion accounted for by female patients with AF, patients with hypertension, and patients with a CHADS2 score ≥2 points was significantly higher than that in group N (P < 0.001). RFCA procedure and safety: differences in the success rate of the first operation and severe complications were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Postoperative follow-up: the follow-up period was between 6 and 12 months after operation. Differences in the proportion of patients with repeated ablation and total success rate were not statistically significant (P > 0.05).Although elderly patients with AF had more clinical complications, no differences in the success rate of RFCA and postoperative complications between the 2 groups were found. RFCA is a safe and effective treatment for elderly patients with AF.