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Editorials |

Is a Charge a Cost If Nobody Pays It?

Milo Engoren, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Toledo, OH
 ,  Dr. Engoren is in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Internal Medicine at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Correspondence to: Milo Engoren, MD, FCCP, Departments of Anesthesiology and Internal Medicine, St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, 2213 Cherry St, Toledo, OH 43608; e-mail: engoren@pol.net



Chest. 2004;126(3):662-664. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3.662
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Approximately one third of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery will develop atrial fibrillation (AF).1 AF is more common in elderly patients and in patients with COPD or hypertension. Its occurrence, and particularly its recurrence, were associated with encephalopathy, strokes, renal dysfunction, infection, in-hospital deaths, more use of CT scans and noncardiac ultrasonography, and longer ICU and hospital stays.12 However, patients with AF were less likely to have myocardial infarctions or congestive heart failure, and they underwent fewer echocardiograms and EEGs.12 Additionally, AF is a risk factor for late mortality.2

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