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Editorials |

Atrial Mechanical Performance Following Internal and External Cardioversion of Atrial Fibrillation : Its Relationship to Peripheral Embolization and Acute Cerebrovascular Accident

Marvin I. Dunn, MD, Master FCCP; James L. Marcum, MD
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Affiliations: Kansas City, KS 
 ,  Dr. Dunn is Franklin E. Murphy Professor of Medicine Emeritus, and Dr. Marcum is a Fellow, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Kansas Medical Center.

Correspondence to: Marvin I. Dunn, MD, Master FCCP, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160-7378



Chest. 2002;121(1):1-3. doi:10.1378/chest.121.1.1-a
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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common persistent and intermittent arrhythmia seen in clinical practice. A recent large cross-sectional study by Go et al1 found a prevalence of AF of 0.95% in study patients ≥ 20 years old. The prevalence ranged from 0.1% in individuals < 55 years old to 9% in patients > 80 years old. These investigators estimated that there are currently 2.3 million adults with AF in the United States and that, since the prevalence is age related, this number could increase to somewhere between 5 million and 6.3 million by 2050. The implications of this problem are many and include the financial burden associated with treatment, effects on quality of life, and an increased risk of other medical conditions, such as heart failure and thromboembolism. The most potentially devastating associated problem is embolic cerebrovascular accident (CVA).

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