People with heart rhythm disorders may have many extra health issues

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Atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder, affects over 40 million people worldwide.

Patients with atrium fibrillation often have other conditions that can negatively impact their survival, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, obesity, and chronic kidney disease.

Innovative Solution

Healthcare researchers are working on a new software tool designed to improve the management of elderly patients with atrial fibrillation and multiple coexisting conditions.

The EHRA-PATHS project, an international initiative coordinated by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), aims to establish a standardized approach for the treatment of these comorbidities.

The Software Tool and Its Implementation

Researchers have identified 22 comorbidities relevant to patients with atrial fibrillation.

For each, they have developed concise care pathways to guide its evaluation and ensure effective management.

These pathways are being integrated into a software tool to help healthcare personnel effectively evaluate atrial fibrillation patients.

The goal is to improve patient outcomes by systematically detecting and managing underlying conditions and referring patients for multidisciplinary care when necessary.

Clinical Study

The software will be evaluated in a clinical study involving 65 hospitals across 14 European countries.

In the first part of the study, the management of risk factors and comorbidities in approximately 1,300 patients aged 65 years and older with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation will be assessed.

The second part will be a randomized controlled trial in 1,080 patients, investigating whether the software tool improves atrial fibrillation management compared to standard care.

Preventive Measures for Heart Rhythm Disease

Prevention of heart rhythm diseases such as atrial fibrillation involves adopting healthy lifestyle habits and managing underlying health conditions.

This includes maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, managing high blood pressure and diabetes, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, managing stress, and getting regular check-ups.


The new software tool represents a significant step towards improved care for elderly patients with atrial fibrillation and associated conditions.

By providing a systematic and standardized approach, it could potentially enhance patient outcomes and the overall management of atrial fibrillation.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk, and herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about supplements that could help prevent heart disease, stroke, and results showing that a year of committed exercise in middle age reversed worrisome heart failure.

The study was conducted by Hein Heidbuchel et al and presented at EHRA 2023.

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