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 What Doctors Don't Tell You: Electric shocks don’t cure heart flutter 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 12, Issue 11)
Electrical cardioversion - where electrical shocks are used to restore normal heart rhythm after atrial fibrillation (AF) or heart flutter - may work in the short term. But new evidence suggests that a substantial number of patients may relapse over the longer term.

Researchers at Glasgow’s Western Infirmary examined the current management and outcomes of electrical cardioversion in 111 consecutive patients with AF.

Of these, 96 (86 per cent) achieved immediate return to normal heart rhythm and 88 (79 per cent) remained ‘normal’ at discharge. But of those 88 patients, 34 (39 per cent) had relapsed into AF after one month and a further 21 (24 per cent) after one year.

The risk factors for relapse are not clear, but older patients were more likely to relapse than younger ones and, note the researchers, there may be a case for not discontinuing anticoagulation therapy too quickly after electrical cardioversion in this group of patients (Int J Cardiol, 2001; 81: 29-35).

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What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
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