Netherlands Heart Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 199–204 | Cite as

Rate control in atrial fibrillation, insight into the RACE II study

  • H. F. Groenveld
  • H. J. G. M. Crijns
  • J. G. P. Tijssen
  • M. Alings
  • H. L. Hillege
  • Y. S. Tuininga
  • M. P. Van den Berg
  • D. J. Van Veldhuisen
  • I. C. Van GelderEmail author


Currently, in Europe, more than 6 million patients have atrial fibrillation (AF) [1]. It is expected that this number will double in the next 30–50 years [1, 2, 3]. With AF, the risk of death, stroke and heart failure is increased [4, 5, 6], and exercise capacity and quality of life are reduced [7, 8]. Thus, AF is not a benign disease. Despite efforts to maintain sinus rhythm, AF is a progressive arrhythmia [9, 10, 11] and many patients eventually develop permanent AF. Until recently, the treatment of this specific patient group was not evidence based. An evidence-based treatment strategy is indispensable considering the large patient population.

It was not until the beginning of this decade that it became apparent that it was not the rhythm that determined the prognosis, i.e. there was no difference in outcome between rate (treatment aimed at heart rate reduction) and rhythm control (treatment aimed at restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm) [ 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18...



The study was funded by a major grant obtained from the Netherlands Heart Foundation and unrestricted educational grants from AstraZeneca, Biotronik, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Roche and Sanofi Aventis France paid to the Interuniversity Cardiology Institute Netherlands.

Conflict of interest

Dr. Van Gelder reports receiving consulting fees from Sanofi-Aventis, Boehringer Ingelheim and Cardiome, grant support from Medtronic, Biotronik and St. Jude Medical, lecture fees from Sanofi-Aventis, Boehringer Ingelheim and Medtronic. Dr. Crijns reports receiving consulting fees from Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca, grant support from St. Jude Medical, Boston Scientific, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Sanofi-Aventis, Medapharma and Merck, and honoraria from Medtronic, Sanofi-Aventis, Medapharma, Merck, Boehringer-Ingelheim and Biosense Webster, Dr. Alings reports receiving consulting fees from Bayer-AG, BMS-Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim, Dr. Van Veldhuisen reports having received Board memberships from Amgen, BG Medicine, Johnson & Johnson, Sorbent, Novartis, and Vifor.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. F. Groenveld
    • 1
  • H. J. G. M. Crijns
    • 2
  • J. G. P. Tijssen
    • 3
    • 4
  • M. Alings
    • 5
  • H. L. Hillege
    • 6
  • Y. S. Tuininga
    • 7
  • M. P. Van den Berg
    • 1
  • D. J. Van Veldhuisen
    • 1
  • I. C. Van Gelder
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Cardiology, ThoraxcenterUniversity of Groningen, University Medical Center GroningenGroningenthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Maastricht University Medical CenterMaastrichtthe Netherlands
  3. 3.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  4. 4.Interuniversity Cardiology Institute NetherlandsUtrechtthe Netherlands
  5. 5.Amphia HospitalBredathe Netherlands
  6. 6.Trial Coordination Center, Department of EpidemiologyUniversity Medical Center GroningenGroningenthe Netherlands
  7. 7.Deventer HospitalDeventerthe Netherlands

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