Quality of life in older people with atrial fibrillation

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This review summarises the literature on quality of life in patients with atrial fibrillation. Since atrial fibrillation is predominantly a disease of maturity, the majority of studies examining quality of life in this patient population have been conducted in older adults people (aged ≥65 years). Almost all studies have demonstrated poorer quality of life among patients with atrial fibrillation compared to age-matched general populations. Rate-control and rhythm-control strategies in highly symptomatic patients have revealed significant improvements in quality of life following the interventions, presumably as a result of the immediate relief of symptoms. Further, randomised controlled trials of rate- versus rhythm-control strategies have shown that some aspects of quality of life improve significantly following either intervention and that neither rate nor rhythm-control is superior in increasing quality of life. Control of the heart rate, rather than restoring sinus rhythm, appears to be associated with better quality of life in more domains.

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