(HealthDay) – In patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), patients who undergo ablation have a significantly lower risk of recurring AF than patients who receive drug therapy regardless of gender. This is evident from a study published in the February 16 issue of Circulation.
Andrea M. Russo, MD of Cooper Medical School at Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey, and colleagues examined the results of 819 women and 1,385 men with AF aged 65 years and older or younger than 65 years with at least one risk factor for stroke. The participants were randomly assigned to either catheter ablation with pulmonary vein isolation or drug therapy with frequency / rhythm control agents.
The researchers found that women were less likely than men to have additional ablation procedures performed during the index procedure (55.7 percent versus 62.2 percent); Treatment complications were rare in both sexes. For the primary outcome of death, stroke, major bleeding, or cardiac arrest, the hazard ratio was 1.01 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.62 to 1.65) for women and 0.73 (95 percent confidence interval, 0, 51 to 1.05) for men for ablation versus drug therapy. Compared to patients who received drug therapy, patients who underwent ablation had a significantly reduced risk of recurrent AF, but the effect was in men (hazard ratio 0.48; 95 percent confidence interval 0.40 to 0.58) greater than in women (hazard ratio 0.64; 95) percentage confidence interval 0.51 to 0.82).
“Compared to drug therapy, ablation offers comparable advantages for women and men,” the authors write. “Consequently, sex should not be used as the basis for choosing a management strategy for treating AF.”
Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device companies, some of which funded the study.
Ablation reduces the risk of recurrent stroke in patients with A-fib
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