November 2009, Volume 39 Number 11 , p 58 - 63
McDonough, Marjorie RN, EdD
Issue: Volume 39(11), November 2009, p 58–63 Publication Type: [Feature] Publisher: © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Institution(s): Marjorie McDonough is an associate professor of nursing at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y. An aging population is making this dysrhythmia more and more common. Find out about the latest treatments.
AN ESTIMATED 2.2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common cardiac dysrhythmia seen in clinical practice today. 1 AF is responsible for more hospital admissions than any other dysrhythmia and is associated with an increased risk of heart failure and stroke. Mortality for patients with AF is about twice that of people with normal sinus rhythm, and is linked to the severity of underlying heart disease. 1
Over the past 2 decades, hospital admissions for AF have increased 66% due to the aging population, an increased incidence of chronic heart disease, ...