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Heart Health

A Non-Invasive Procedure That Helps Heart Patients

A minimally invasive procedure can significantly reduce the likelihood of heart disease-related deaths among adults with atrial fibrillation.

A long-term study from the University of Michigan’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center found that the procedure, catheter ablation, helps atrial-fibrillation patients lower their risk of dying from a heart attack or heart failure.

Catheter ablation is a procedure in which a catheter is inserted into one of the heart’s upper chambers. It uses the delivery of radio frequency energy to disrupt the short circuits that cause atrial fibrillation (rapid heart beat and a failure of the heart to pump enough blood. More than four million people have atrial fibrillation.

The study was published in the journal Heart Rhythm. It shows that cardiovascular deaths dropped by 60 perceon.nt when adults underwent catheter ablation.

“The study findings show the benefit of catheter ablation extends beyond improving quality of life for adults with atrial fibrillation. If successful, ablation improves life span,” says lead study author Hamid Ghanbari, M.D., M.P.H., an electrophysiologist at the U-M Cardiovascular Center.

Even older patients and those with diabetes, a history of stroke and heart disease, sleep apnea and low ejection fraction gain the cardiovascular survival benefits of ablation, according to the study.

For the study, researchers evaluated the 10-year medical history of 3,058 adults who had catheter ablation — most of them men with an average age of 58 who were afflicted with atrial fibrillation.

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