Rate control in atrial fibrillation, insight into the RACE II study
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Currently, in Europe, more than 6 million patients have atrial fibrillation (AF) . 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.
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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