Atrial Fibrillation in the Elderly

  • Stefano FumagalliEmail author
  • Debbie Gabbai
  • Luigi Padeletti
  • Harry J. Crijns
  • Gregory Y. H. Lip


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most frequent sustained arrhythmia in the elderly. AF is often associated with (and aggravates the clinical course of) several age-related disorders, such as chronic heart failure, non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, and urinary infections. Older patients can develop the most severe complications of AF, such as stroke and dementia. Despite existing evidence, oral anticoagulation is still underused in the elderly. A rate-control strategy is frequently adopted. In conclusion, AF in elderly patients is common and often represents a marker of multiple comorbidities and frailty. Management should aim at reducing symptoms and improving health-related quality of life and survival.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Fumagalli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Debbie Gabbai
    • 1
  • Luigi Padeletti
    • 2
    • 3
  • Harry J. Crijns
    • 4
  • Gregory Y. H. Lip
    • 5
  1. 1.Geriatric Intensive Care Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical MedicineUniversity of Florence and AOU CareggiFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Postgraduate School of Cardiology, Department of Experimental and Clinical MedicineUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  3. 3.Cardiovascular DepartmentIRCCS MultiMedicaMilanItaly
  4. 4.Department of CardiologyMaastricht University Medical CenterMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  5. 5.City Hospital, University of Birmingham Institute of Cardiovascular SciencesBirminghamUK

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