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News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Guideline calls for better treatment of atrial fibrillation

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 12 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:772
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    Patients with an irregular pulse should undergo electrocardiography to improve the detection of atrial fibrillation, recommends a new guideline for the NHS in England. And patients with atrial fibrillation should be treated with antithrombotic drugs after formal risk assessment, to reduce the risk of preventable strokes associated with the condition, it says.

    The guideline says it is important that atrial fibrillation—the commonest cardiac arrhythmia—is diagnosed early, because people with it have a one in 20 chance of stroke. To achieve early diagnosis it recommends electrocardiography for all patients in whom atrial fibrillation is suspected because of an irregular pulse, whether or not they have symptoms.

    The guideline was drawn up by the …

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