An extensive retrospective study involving over 18,400 patients with atrial fibrillation (afib) has revealed that individuals who underwent cardiac ablation procedures had a significantly lower risk of developing heart failure, compared to those who solely relied on prescription drugs to manage their irregular heartbeat. This research was conducted by Johnson & Johnson MedTech’s Biosense Webster division, a prominent manufacturer of heart ablation catheters and equipment. The study delved into eight years of real-world health claims data from two patient groups, both of which continued to experience afib despite prior treatment with antiarrhythmic drugs.
The findings indicated that patients who received catheter ablation as a second-line treatment exhibited a remarkable 57% reduction in the risk of heart failure development in the subsequent years. Notably, these positive effects were consistent across various subgroups, including patients of different races, ethnicities, and genders. The two patient cohorts were closely matched in terms of sociodemographic factors and clinical variables. It is important to note that individuals with afib face an elevated risk of heart failure, as the arrhythmia compromises the heart’s ability to efficiently pump blood throughout the body.
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“The results from this study underscore the positive, life-changing impact catheter ablation can have for people with afib.”
– Biosense Webster President Jasmina Brooks
Despite its established safety and effectiveness in afib treatment, catheter ablation is currently administered to less than 5% of eligible individuals, as per the company’s data. These compelling study results were published in the journal Heart Rhythm O2.
Johnson & Johnson estimates that atrial fibrillation affects over 6 million people in the United States, with approximately 25% of adults aged 40 and above being at risk of developing this condition. This study underscores the importance of exploring catheter ablation as a viable option to improve the quality of life for individuals battling afib and reduce the risk of heart failure in this patient population.