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Atrial FibrillationLone Atrial Fibrillation and Outcome: It Is Better to Be Alone Than in Bad Company!

Giuseppe Boriani, MD, PhD; Igor Diemberger, MD, PhD; Mauro Biffi, MD; for the Italian AT-500 Registry Investigators
Author and Funding Information

From the Institute of Cardiology (Drs Boriani, Diemberger, and Biffi), University of Bologna, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi.

Correspondence to: Giuseppe Boriani, MD, PhD, Institute of Cardiology, University of Bologna, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy; e-mail: giuseppe.boriani@unibo.it


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The authors have reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2012 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2012;141(2):290-292. doi:10.1378/chest.11-1339
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Extract

The quote “It is better to be alone than in bad company,” by George Washington (1732-1799), can be applied to many situations but is particularly true for atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is the most common sustained arrhythmia in the adult population, and it is well known that its occurrence is linked to a series of risk factors, such as advanced age, hypertension, valvular or ischemic heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism.1,2 The term “lone AF” was introduced by Evans and Swann in 19543 and is also used currently to describe the condition wherein AF develops in a young patient (<60 years of age) in whom clinical and laboratory assessment and testing exclude the presence of an overt structural cardiac disease or of other comorbidities (including systemic hypertension) known to facilitate the development of AF.4 Patients affected by lone or idiopathic AF have been traditionally identified as subjects with a favorable prognosis with regard to thromboembolic events and mortality.4

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