- Atrial Fibrillation now ranks among the top cardiovascular epidemics of
the 21st century -
TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - Atrial fibrillation (AF), generally referred to
as an irregular heartbeat, is a common condition that remains relatively
unknown. It is most prevalent in seniors and is believed to cause 15 to 20 per
cent of all strokes. In the last 20 years, hospital admissions for AF have
increased by 66 per cent, largely due to the aging population and a rising
prevalence of chronic heart disease.(i)
WHAT: AF awareness during Seniors' Month and Stroke Month - the
condition, the unmet medical need and promising treatment
WHO: Dr. Paul Dorian, a Toronto cardiologist and leading AF expert.
Department Director, Division of Cardiology and Professor of
Medicine, University of Toronto; Staff Cardiologist,
St. Michael's Hospital
WHEN: Monday, June 16, 2008 and Tuesday, June 17, 2008
OVERVIEW: AF affects approximately 250,000 Canadians and is the most
common type of cardiac arrhythmia. It is an established risk
factor for stroke and premature death.(ii) There is an unmet
need in treatment options for AF.
A new treatment under investigation may represent a major
therapeutic advance in the treatment of AF. Results of a major
study called "ATHENA" showed that dronedarone (Multaq) was not
only safe and effective but reduced cardiovascular
hospitalizations and death in patients with AF. No other study
with any other drug had succeeded in showing such outcomes.
The international ATHENA study, led by Canadian Principal
Investigator, Dr. Stuart Connolly from Hamilton (McMaster),
was conducted in 35 countries, with 27 sites in Canada.
ATHENA study shows:
- A statistically significant 24 per cent reduction in
cardiovascular hospitalization or death from any cause in
patients with AF;
- A 30 per cent decrease in the risk of cardiovascular death
in patients with AF or atrial flutter; and
- A 45 per cent decrease in the risk for arrhythmic death.
(i) Friberg J, Buch P, Scharling H, et al. Rising rates of hospital
admissions for atrial fibrillation. Epidemiology 2003;14:666-72.
(ii) ACC/AHA/ESC 2006 guidelines for the management of patients with
atrial fibrillation. European Heart Journal (2006) 27, 1979-2030
For further information:
For further information: or to arrange an interview with Dr. Dorian,
please contact: Mary-Anne Cedrone, Manning Selvage & Lee, Tel: (416) 847-1342,