Atrial fibrillation management: A prospective survey in ESC Member Countries - The Euro Heart Survey on atrial fibrillation

Robby Nieuwlaat, Alessandro Capucci, A. John Camm, S. Bertil Olsson, Dietrich Andresen, D. Wyn Davies, Stuart Cobbe, Günter Breithardt, Jean Yves Le Heuzey, Martin H. Prins, Samuel Lévy, Harry J G M Crijns, Etienne Aliot, Massimo Santini, Panos Vardas, Malika Manini, Claire Bramley, Valérie Laforest, Charles Taylor, Susan Del GaisoKurt Huber, Guy De Backer, Vera Sirakova, Roman Cerbak, Per Thayssen, Seppo Lehto, Jean Jacques Blanc, François Delahaye, Bondo Kobulia, Uwe Zeymer, Dennis Cokkinos, Kristof Karlocai, Ian Graham, Emer Shelley, Shlomo Behar, Aldo Maggioni, Virginija Grabauskiene, Jaap Deckers, Inger Asmussen, Janina Stepinska, Lino Gonçalves, Vyacheslav Mareev, Zorana Vasiljevic, Igor Riecansky, Miran F. Kenda, Angeles Alonso, José Luis Lopez-Sendon, Annika Rosengren, Federico Lombardi, Cesare Fiorentini, Euro Heart Survey Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Aims To describe atrial fibrillation (AF) management in member countries of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and to verify cardiology practices against guidelines. Methods and results Among 182 hospitals in 35 countries, 5333 ambulant and hospitalized AF patients were enrolled, in 2003 and 2004. AF was primary or secondary diagnosis, and was confirmed on ECG in the preceding 12 months. Clinical type of AF was reported to be first detected in 978, paroxysmal in 1517, persistent in 1167, and permanent in 1547 patients. Concomitant diseases were present in 90% of all patients, causing risk factors for stroke to be also highly prevalent (86%). As many as 69% of patients were symptomatic at the time of the survey; among asymptomatic patients, 54% were previously experienced symptoms. Oral anticoagulation was prescribed in 67 and 49% of eligible and ineligible patients, respectively. A rhythm control strategy was applied in 67% of currently symptomatic patients and in 44% of patients who never experienced symptoms. Conclusion This survey provides a unique snapshot of current AF management in ESC member countries. Discordance between guidelines and practice was found regarding several issues on stroke prevention and antiarrhythmic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2422-2434
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Anticoagulation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Guidelines
  • Heart failure
  • Rate control
  • Rhythm control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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