International Health News



By Hans R. Larsen MSc ChE

Since the publication of Lone Atrial Fibrillation: Towards a Cure in December 2002 research into atrial fibrillation has grown exponentially. This emphasis on AF research is not coincidental. Recent studies conclude that more than 5.5 million Americans and Europeans now suffer from atrial fibrillation and that the incidence of the disorder increased by 300% between 1986 and 1996. Another study reached the sobering conclusion that one out of every four men and women over the age of 40 years will develop atrial fibrillation during their lifetime. It is estimated that about 20% of all AF patients have lone atrial fibrillation, that is, atrial fibrillation without any underlying heart disease. Truly an epidemic of enormous proportions.

Over the past year The AFIB Report has kept subscribers informed of new developments in atrial fibrillation research as reported in the leading journals such as Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, Circulation, etc. The subjects covered in our journal summaries range from details of the latest ablation procedures, their outcome and potential complications, to the safety and efficacy of antiarrhythmic drugs. The latest insights into the mechanism of atrial fibrillation as well as important information about stroke risk and prevention are also covered. In addition, The AFIB Report has, in detail, covered the results of our most recent LAF surveys dealing with the effectiveness of ablation, pharmaceutical drugs and alternative protocols for managing LAF. Numerous afibbers who have found ways of controlling their afib have shared their experience for the benefit of others and specific approaches to AF management and stroke prevention have been thoroughly researched and the results disseminated in The AFIB Report.

Truly, the 2004 issues of The AFIB Report are a treasure trove of immensely valuable information. Unfortunately the vast volume of data contained in the newsletter makes it very difficult to quickly and conveniently locate a particular piece of information. My new book Lone Atrial Fibrillation: Towards a Cure – Volume II, hopefully, solves this problem. Its 260 pages contain all the information published in the 2004 issues arranged in logical sections. The comprehensive subject index makes it easy to find the elusive, but important information you know is there – somewhere! In addition, the wealth of important new LAF information contained in Lone Atrial Fibrillation: Towards a Cure – Volume II makes it an ideal and essential companion to Lone Atrial Fibrillation: Towards a Cure.

This book would not have been possible without the whole-hearted support of my wife Judi who was instrumental in seeing it come to fruition. Without her word processing skills, editing advice, and encouragement I couldn’t have accomplished it. Jackie Burgess, Joe Pisano, Rodney Ross, Peter Stent and Jeff Zorn deserve my special thanks for taking the time to put their own personal afib experience into words for others to share. Also my heartfelt thanks to the many afibbers who participated in the LAF surveys and thereby helped other afibbers find a way to manage their condition. Finally, a huge thank you to the many enthusiastic and caring contributors to the Bulletin Board and to the subscribers to The AFIB Report without whose support my research would not have been possible.

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