Clinical Outcomes of Rate vs Rhythm Control for Atrial Fibrillation in Older People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Depoorter, Laurence and Sels, Liza and Deschodt, Mieke and Van Grootven, Bastiaan and Van der Linden, Lorenz and Tournoy, Jos. (2020) Clinical Outcomes of Rate vs Rhythm Control for Atrial Fibrillation in Older People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Drugs & Aging , 37 (1). pp. 19-26.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/73028/

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is highly prevalent in older adults and has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. To reduce this AF-related morbidity in older adults, antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs) are regularly used for rhythm control, assuming that increasing time in sinus rhythm reduces AF-related morbidity. However, whether AADs can improve clinical outcomes in older adults remains unclear because of the increased risk for adverse drug events compared with rate control. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of rhythm control versus rate control on clinical outcomes in older adults with AF.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis targeting patients aged ≥65 years with AF and using drugs to control rate or rhythm. Articles that met the following criteria were included: enrolled older patients (sample mean ≥75 years) with AF, compared pharmacological rate versus rhythm control, and reported all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, or ischemic stroke.
Five observational studies were included. In total, 86,926 patients with AF with a mean age ranging from 75 to 92 years were studied. No differences were found between rhythm and rate control for all-cause mortality (odds ratio [OR] 1.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.78-1.59; I2 = 79.6%; n = 28,526; four studies) and cardiovascular mortality (OR 1.09; 95% CI 0.81-1.47; I2 = 0%; n = 2292; two studies). Rhythm control resulted in fewer strokes (OR 0.86; 95% CI 0.80-0.93; I2 = 0%; n = 59,496), although this was mainly determined by one study.
All collected data were observational, which precluded making strong recommendations. Furthermore, all CIs were wide, increasing the uncertainty of the observed effects. As such, evidence was insufficient to recommend rhythm or rate control as the first-line therapy for AF in older adults. As AF is particularly prevalent in older people, more randomized controlled trials are needed in this population.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Institut für Pflegewissenschaft
UniBasel Contributors:Deschodt, Mieke
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:10 Feb 2020 17:48
Deposited On:07 Feb 2020 13:38

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