Patients with the atrial fibrillation (AF), world's most common heart rhythm disorder, are five times more likely to have long-term survival if they manage their lifestyle, according to researchers at University of Adelaide.
AF is responsible for dementia, stroke and death, and has a significant impact on healthcare costs. Electrical short circuits are believed to be responsible for the abnormal beating of the heart in AF patients. The currently used treatment is cathether ablation which involves burning the tissue surrounding the problem area.
Cardiologist Dr Rajeev Pathak said, "After a period of five years, arrhythmia-free survival rates for patients who undertook the risk management program were 87 percent, compared with less than 18 percent of the control group."
This study urges physicians to begin prevention programs to reduce disease states rather than focus on their treatment only. It is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.