Aggressive management of risk factors may be the key to improving patient outcomes following ablation for atrial fibrillation. Findings published Dec. 2 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggest that in patients with a high body mass index and more than one cardiovascular risk factor, improved long-term outcomes are possible when several risk factors were addressed.
A nearly three-fold greater number of aggressively managed patients were free of arrhythmia at final follow-up, researchers found.
The Aggressive Risk Factor Reduction Study for Atrial Fibrillation (ARREST-AF) cohort study followed 61 risk-factor managed (RFM) patients and 88 control patients for a mean of 41.6 vs. 42.1 months, respectively.
Rajeev K. Pathak, MBBS, of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, and colleagues of the ARREST-AF study sent patients in the RFM group to a physician-directed clinic every three months on top of arrhythmia follow-ups. Patients were given instruction on structured weight management programs; thrice-daily home blood pressure monitoring; lifestyle advice and behavior modification; smoking cessation counseling; sleep-disordered breathing management; and pharmaceutical treatment for lipids, blood pressure and glucose, if needed.