Screening and management of atrial fibrillation in primary care.

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Atrial fibrillation is a common chronic disease seen in primary care offices, emergency departments, inpatient hospital services, and many subspecialty practices. Atrial fibrillation care is complicated and multifaceted, and, at various points, clinicians may see it as a consequence and cause of multi-morbidity, as a silent driver of stroke risk, as a bellwether of an acute medical illness, or as a primary rhythm disturbance that requires targeted treatment. Primary care physicians in particular must navigate these priorities, perspectives, and resources to meet the needs of individual patients. This includes judicious use of diagnostic testing, thoughtful use of novel therapeutic agents and procedures, and providing access to subspecialty expertise. This review explores the epidemiology, screening, and risk assessment of atrial fibrillation, as well as management of its symptoms (rate and various rhythm control options) and stroke risk (anticoagulation and other treatments), and offers a model for the integration of the components of atrial fibrillation care.

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Authors: Shiva P Ponamgi, Konstantinos C Siontis, David R Rushlow, Jonathan Graff-Radford, Victor Montori, Peter A Noseworthy