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    Preventing Atrial Fibrillation: A Three-legged Stool


    In addition to modifying lifestyle and treating cardiovascular risk factors, targeting AF at a population level is the third tenet of this “three-legged stool” for decreasing the burden from this growing disease. The authors advocate using risk prediction models to identify populations at the highest risk for AF. They warn, however, that even the best models only offer moderate discriminatory ability. Moreover, as the majority of AF arises from the low-risk population and risk is continuous along the spectrum, the authors suggest that clinicians ought to focus on making small advances in the treatment of risk factors as outlined above. 

    They conclude that even incremental improvements in the above factors will shift the overall distribution of AF to decrease both the prevalence and the incidence over time. To decrease the morbidity from this disease, the focus has to now start becoming disease prevention, not just disease management.


    Du X, Dong J, Ma C. Is atrial fibrillation a preventable disease?  J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;  69:1968-1982; DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.02.020.


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