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Ablation Therapy Effective for Atrial Fibrillation in Young

Those under 45 likely to achieve a-fib control, have fewer major complications than older patients

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Atrial fibrillation (AF) patients under the age of 45 who undergo ablative therapy experience fewer major complications and similar efficacy as older patients, and have a higher chance of remaining AF free without the use of antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs), according to research published online Sept. 21 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

To determine the effectiveness and risk of AF ablation in younger patients, Peter Leong-Sit, M.D., of London Health Science Hospital in Canada, and colleagues analyzed the rate of major procedural complications and efficacy by age in 1,548 patients who underwent 2,038 AF ablation procedures.

Patients were defined as under 45 (group one), 45 to 54 (group two), 55 to 64 (group three), and 65 and older (group four). The researchers found that AF control was achieved in 82 to 88 percent in all groups (P = 0.06), but 76 percent of group one patients demonstrated freedom from AF off ADDs, compared with 68, 65, and 53 percent in groups two, three, and four, respectively. Group 1 also experienced no major complications, compared with 10, 14, and 10 in groups two, three, and four, respectively.

"In patients younger than the age of 45 years, there is [a] lower major complication rate and a comparable efficacy rate with a greater chance of being AF free without AADs. These findings suggest that it may be appropriate to consider ablative therapy as first-line therapy in this age group," the authors write.

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