HealthDay News — Catheter ablation (CA) of atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with more strokes in patients who are at least 75 years old but is not associated with other complications, according to a study published online in the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology.

Julia Moser, MD, from the University Hospital Hamburg in Germany, and colleagues compared complication rates of CA of AF in patients ≥75 versus <75 years of age. A total of 4,449 patients (227 aged ≥75 years and 4,222 aged <75 years) with paroxysmal AF and persistent AF underwent CA of AF. Overall, 4,347 patients underwent centralized follow-up. 

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The researchers found that the elderly versus the younger cohort differed significantly in periprocedural stroke rate (1.3 versus 0.1%). There was no significant between-group difference in in-hospital severe nonfatal complications (4.4 versus 2.7%). No significant differences were seen for other procedure-related in-hospital complications. There were no differences in complication rates after a mean follow-up of 472 ± 99 days (elderly group) and 477 ± 94 days (younger group).

“CA of AF in patients ≥75 years is associated with higher in-hospital stroke rates,” the authors write. “In a one-year follow-up, complication rates do not differ between the groups.”

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Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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