Biosense Webster Launches a Two-pronged Initiative to Tackle the New Millennium Epidemic of Atrial Fibrillation
Biosense Webster EMEA, a Division of Johnson & Johnson Medical NV/SA and leader in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) has today reaffirmed its commitment to tackling this new millennium epidemic by launching two major initiatives to coincide with Global AF Aware Week, 18-24 November 2019. Get Smart About AFIB (GSAAF) is a campaign where Arrhythmia Alliance and Biosense Webster have partnered to improve knowledge of AF across the healthcare community and the general public. Alongside this campaign, the Atrial Fibrillation Management Report examines the available treatment options for AF across Europe and their long-term impact on clinical, patient and economic outcomes, aiming to support healthcare professionals (HCPs) when making treatment decisions.
The Atrial Fibrillation Management Report reviewed independent studies to explore current treatment options for AF patients, which include antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs) and catheter ablation. Key findings highlighted that just half of patients (52%) are well-managed by AADs,1 yet despite this, just 4% of eligible patients receive catheter ablation2 – a treatment that’s almost 10 times more effective in delaying disease progression than AADs, as demonstrated by the ATTEST trial.3 Furthermore, the report found catheter ablation to be a highly effective and economical treatment option, with data showing:
- Greater improvement on patients’ quality of life (37% vs. 18% for AADs)4, 5
- Sustained results with 94% patients free from arrhythmia recurrence after one year and 48% free from arrhythmia after four years6-16
- Up to 46% lower incidence of death, stroke, cardiac arrest and cardiovascular hospitalization over seven years, compared to AADs16, 17
- Reduced need of unplanned medical visits (by up to 80%) and long-term cost savings of 35%18, 19
AF is a growing health epidemic and places a critical financial burden on healthcare systems, costing up to €3,286 million annually in some European countries.20 By 2030, the number of people with AF is projected to increase by up to 70%34 and by 2050 Europe will have the greatest increase in AF patients compared to other regions globally, owing to factors such as economic growth, an ageing population and increased prevalence of risk factors for AF in Western countries. 21, 22 In addition, AF is sometimes known as a silent killer because up to 30% of patients do not experience any symptoms. 23,24,25
Arrhythmia Alliance and Biosense Webster have come together with a strong commitment to helping patients receive diagnosis and treatment more quickly and effectively through education, with an aim to reduce the burden of AF. Get Smart About AFIB provides easy-to-access information to help educate the general public about the condition, its common symptoms and the importance of treatment. From here, patients can ask their doctor to advise on management and treatment options available for AF. Educational materials have also been created for cardiologists, general practitioners and the wider healthcare community to support their work in diagnosing and treating AF.
“Patients with AF have a lower quality of life than the general public. AF can lead to AF-related stroke, heart failure, dementia and the condition can have a costly impact on healthcare systems,” said Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder & Trustee of Arrhythmia Alliance. “It is, therefore, crucial that we do everything we can to raise awareness of AF to prevent it from becoming a life-threatening epidemic. By providing healthcare professionals and patients with easy to use information and tools, we can help make a positive difference to people’s lives and reduce the risk of life-threatening conditions.”
To help combat the rising AF epidemic, GSAAF is encouraging the general public to take action by following three simple steps:
- Know the symptoms of AF and the risk factors associated with the condition by visiting https://getsmartaboutAFIB.eu
- Carry out pulse checks regularly (either manually or via available technologies such as smartphone apps)
- Seek medical advice in case of any irregularities in your heart rhythm and be informed about the different management and treatment options
Alenka Brzulja, Vice President of Cardiovascular & Specialty Solutions EMEA, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, comments: “This new millennium epidemic puts a burden on patients, caregivers and healthcare systems. At Biosense Webster, we are passionate about helping patients get access to early detection, diagnosis and the right treatments for AF, and have been for over 20 years. By developing innovative technology solutions, investing in research and publications to advance clinical understanding, and improving education and awareness of AF among clinicians and the general public, we will continue to drive our mission to cure AF”.
All assets including Get Smart About AFIB campaign materials, and the full Atrial Fibrillation Management report and supporting materials, including an infographic, are available at:
- ENDS -
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Atrial Fibrillation (AF)
Atrial Fibrillation, sometimes called AF, Afib or Atrial fib, is the most common heart arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm).26 It occurs when the two upper chambers of the heart (the atria) contract too quickly or in an uncontrolled way.26 The heart rate is controlled by electrical impulses that coordinate the heart’s contractions.27 With AF, these electrical impulses become irregular causing the two chambers of the heart (the atria) to contract in an uncoordinated way. This leads to an irregular and often fast heart rhythm, which can sometime feel like a flutter. When the heart beats erratically, it does not pump blood as efficiently as it should. This may cause you to feel ill or experience other AF symptoms because oxygen isn’t being properly delivered to all parts of your body. AF isn’t life threatening in itself. However, it is important to seek advice from a doctor to access the right treatment not only to control symptoms but also because AF can lead to more serious conditions like AF-related stroke.28 AF is a common health problem with affects 11 million people across Europe35, becoming more common with age. 1 in 4 people over the age of 40 are likely to develop AF during their lifetime.29 The causes of AF are not always clear and can be complex.30,31,32 Possible causes are wide ranging with heart disease, age, family history, high blood pressure, alcohol consumption, obesity and other chronic conditions all contributing risk factors to AF.30,33
About the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies*
At Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, we are helping people live their best lives. Building on more than a century of expertise, we tackle pressing healthcare challenges, and take bold steps that lead to new standards of care while improving people’s healthcare experiences. In surgery, orthopaedics, vision and interventional solutions, we are helping to save lives and paving the way to a healthier future for everyone, everywhere.
For more information, visit www.jnjmedicaldevices.com.
*The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies comprise the surgery, orthopaedics, vision and interventional solutions businesses within Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices segment.
About Biosense Webster
Biosense Webster, Inc., part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, is a global leader in the science of diagnosing and treating heart rhythm disorders. The company partners with clinicians to develop innovative technologies that improve the quality of care for arrhythmia patients worldwide. For more information, visit www.biosensewebster.com.
- Calkins H, Reynolds MR, Spector P, et al. Treatment of atrial fibrillation with antiarrhythmic drugs or radiofrequency ablation: two systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2009;2(4):349–61.
- Pillarisetti J, Lakkireddy D. Atrial fibrillation in Europe: state of the state in disease management! Eur Heart J 2014;35(47):3326–7.
- Kuck KH, Lebedev D, Mikaylov E, et al. (2019) Catheter ablation delays progression of atrial fibrillation from paroxysmal to persistent atrial fibrillation [abstract]. Presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2019, Paris, France. 31 August 2019.
- Mark DB, Anstrom KJ, Sheng S, et al. Effect of Catheter Ablation vs Medical Therapy on Quality of Life Among Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: The CABANA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2019;321(13):1275–85.
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- Taghji P, El Haddad M, Phlips T, et al. Evaluation of a Strategy Aiming to Enclose the Pulmonary Veins With Contiguous and Optimized Radiofrequency Lesions in Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation: A Pilot Study. JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2018;4(1):99–108.
- Phlips T, Taghji P, El Haddad M, et al. Improving procedural and one-year outcome after contact force-guided pulmonary vein isolation: the role of interlesion distance, ablation index, and contact force variability in the 'CLOSE'-protocol. Europace 2018;20(FI_3):f419–27.
- Solimene F, Schillaci V, Shopova G, et al. Safety and efficacy of atrial fibrillation ablation guided by Ablation Index module. J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2019;54(1):9–15.
- Di Giovanni G, Wauters K, Chierchia GB, et al. One-year follow-up after single procedure Cryoballoon ablation: a comparison between the first and second generation balloon. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2014;25(8):834–9.
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- Lemes C, Wissner E, Lin T, et al. One-year clinical outcome after pulmonary vein isolation in persistent atrial fibrillation using the second-generation 28 mm cryoballoon: a retrospective analysis. Europace 2016;18(2):201–5.
- Guhl EN, Siddoway D, Adelstein E, et al. Efficacy of Cryoballoon Pulmonary Vein Isolation in Patients With Persistent Atrial Fibrillation. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2016;27(4):423–7.
- Irfan G, de Asmundis C, Mugnai G, et al. One-year follow-up after second-generation cryoballoon ablation for atrial fibrillation in a large cohort of patients: a single-centre experience. Europace 2016;18(7):987–93.
- Boveda S, Metzner A, Nguyen DQ, et al. Single-Procedure Outcomes and Quality-of-Life Improvement 12 Months Post-Cryoballoon Ablation in Persistent Atrial Fibrillation: Results From the Multicenter CRYO4PERSISTENT AF Trial. JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2018;4(11):1440–7.
- Packer DL, Mark DB, Robb RA, et al. Effect of Catheter Ablation vs Antiarrhythmic Drug Therapy on Mortality, Stroke, Bleeding, and Cardiac Arrest Among Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: The CABANA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2019;321(13):1261–74.
- Noseworthy PA, Gersh BJ, Kent DM, et al. Atrial fibrillation ablation in practice: assessing CABANA generalizability. Eur Heart J 2019;40(16):1257–64.
- Samuel M, Avgil Tsadok M, et al. Catheter ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation is associated with a reduction in health care resource utilization. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2017;28(7):733–41.
- Weerasooriya R, Jais P, Le Heuzey JY, et al. Cost analysis of catheter ablation for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 2003;26(1 Pt 2):292–4.
- Ball J, Carrington MJ, McMurray JJ, Stewart S. Atrial fibrillation: profile and burden of an evolving epidemic in the 21st century. Int J Cardiol 2013;167(5):1807–24.
- United Nations DESA/Population Division. World Population Prospects: The 2019 Revision. Ten Key Findings. Available at https://population.un.org/wpp/Publications/Files/WPP2019_10KeyFindings.pdf. (last accessed October 2019).
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© Johnson & Johnson Medical NV/SA 2019
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