Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

AFNET and EHRA lay out roadmap to improve AF management

19.10.2015

At least 30 million people worldwide live with atrial fibrillation (AF). Despite improved treatment options AF patients still suffer strokes, heart failures, and premature deaths. The German Atrial Fibrillation Network association (AFNET) and the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) initiated development of a roadmap to improve the quality of AF management. An international group of experts developed a set of initiatives and recommendations aimed at improving the care for AF patients. The report of the 5th AFNET/EHRA consensus conference is published online in the EP Europace journal today.

The 5th AFNET/EHRA consensus conference was convened with the focus on “Understanding and eliminating inequalities and barriers that prevent optimal treatment of atrial fibrillation”. Professor Paulus Kirchhof, one of the conference organizers, board member of EHRA and speaker of the board of AFNET, explained:

“We arranged this meeting with the aim to set out a roadmap for a tangible improvement of atrial fibrillation management. The outcome of the conference has been condensed into a set of recommendations and research priorities in AF.”

Learning from our neighbours

Over seventy AF experts, representing an almost global community of AF professionals, participated in the conference and shared their experiences. “Given the wide global variety in healthcare structures, the different countries in the world can learn from each other and develop role models of excellent AF care. We hope that this roadmap created by specialists coming from different parts of the world will help to improve AF management in Europe and beyond.” observed Professor Gerhard Hindricks, president of EHRA.

Informed and involved patients

The experts agree that for successful AF therapy all AF patients should be involved in decisions about their care. It is imperative that the patients are well informed about AF. In order to achieve this, the authors recommend enhancing the publicly available information on AF, its complications, and the therapeutic options.

Patient focused initiatives such as the website for patients “AFib matters” (http://www.afibmatters.org) developed in 5 European languages now and released by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) were considered very helpful promoting patient engagement in the field of AF. Furthermore, patient reported outcomes should be used to capture AF-related symptoms and patients’ experiences.

Structured care

Adequate management of AF patients is complex. Professor Andreas Goette, board member of AFNET, explained: “Such AF care should ensure that evidence-based therapy is offered to all AF patients.” Therefore the AFNET/EHRA roadmap recommends a more structured approach led by interdisciplinary teams and suggests the development of patient-centered care plans for all AF patients.

Improving AF treatment

Several millions of people in the world suffer from undiagnosed and therefore untreated AF, associated with high risk of strokes and death. The AFNET/EHRA roadmap recommends the establishment of widespread screening for AF in those over the age of 65, or in populations at high risk, in order to make a timely diagnosis and treatment of AF possible.

Strategies to minimize interruption of discontinuation of anticoagulant therapy need to be evaluated since anticoagulants are effective only if taken continuously.

AF ablation is an established AF treatment and hence offered in an increasing number of hospitals. The authors recommend development of standards to consistently measure the quality and success of AF ablation. Often ablation does not completely eliminate AF, and further trials are needed to identify the best rhythm control therapy in patients with recurrent AF after ablation.

Personalized AF management

Further research is required to better understand the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of AF. The experts suggest the evaluation of genetic factors, specific biomarkers and ECG parameters to identify different subtypes of AF in individual patients in order to develop more targeted therapies. For example, new biomarkers or ECG information can be used to refine anticoagulation risk assessment individually for patients with an intermediate or low risk of stroke. Currently it is not clear whether this group of patients will benefit from anticoagulation therapy or not.

Professor A John Camm, president-elect of EHRA and co-organizer of the 5th AFNET/EHRA consensus conference, concluded: “We believe that the suggested research activities can help to optimize AF therapy and improve the outcomes of many AF patients in the world. There is an urgent need for long-term research funding to enable the implementation of appropriate studies.”

The conference was organized and co-financed by AFNET and EHRA. Industry participants paid an attendance fee.

Publication
Kirchhof P et al. A roadmap to improve the quality of atrial fibrillation management: proceedings from the fifth Atrial Fibrillation Network / European Heart Rhythm Association consensus conference. Europace 2015; doi:10.1093/europace/euv304

About AFNET
The Atrial Fibrillation Network association (AFNET) is an interdisciplinary research network comprising scientists and physicians from hospitals and practices dedicated to improving the management of atrial fibrillation through coordinated research in Germany and Europe. Its main objective is to conduct high quality investigator-initiated clinical trials and registries on a national and international level. The AFNET continues the long-term activities of the network which has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education over a decade. Since January 2015, specific projects and infrastructures of the AFNET are funded by the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK).

About EHRA
The European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) is a registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Its aim is to improve the quality of life of the European population by reducing the impact of cardiac arrhythmias and reducing sudden cardiac death. EHRA promotes science and education in the field of cardiac arrhythmias with a special focus on AF. Besides patient engagement programs EHRA organizes scientific and educational events for physicians and allied professionals. In cooperation with other associations and societies EHRA promotes the quality of care for patients with atrial fibrillation with the publication of international consensus documents.

About ESC
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 90 000 cardiology professionals across Europe and worldwide. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.

Press contact
Angelika Leute PhD
Email: a.leute@t-online.de
Phone: +49 202 2623395

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.af-net.eu - Atrial Fibrillation Network association (AFNET)
http://www.escardio.org/EHRA - European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA)
http://www.escardio.org - European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

Dr. Angelika Leute | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Event News:

nachricht Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting
13.02.2017 | Kuratorium für die Tagungen der Nobelpreisträger in Lindau e.V.

nachricht Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves
10.02.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

All articles from Event News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Light-emitting bubbles captured in the wild

28.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Triboelectric nanogenerators boost mass spectrometry performance

28.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Calculating recharge of groundwater more precisely

28.02.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>