Atrial Fibrillation: Current Trends and Management in the West African Sub Region
Maclean R. Akpa, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Bernard C. Nkum, Department of Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
Frank B. Micah, Department of Medicine, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia and though may be asymptomatic it increases the morbidity and mortality related to cardiovascular diseases. Optimal treatment of atrial fibrillation is one of several strategies needed to reduce the morbidity and mortality related to cardiovascular diseases. The study is aimed to review current epidemiology in the West African sub region and treatment options available with a view to raising awareness about the current recognition and the challenges in the treatment of atrial fibrillation in blacks in the sub region. An in-depth electronic search of the literature on the subject of atrial fibrillation in West Africa and in Africa was done. The internet search was conducted using Pubmed and Google on the topic ‘atrial fibrillation’ and ‘atrial fibrillation in Africa’. The findings were; atrial fibrillation is common in black patients in the West African sub region suffering from symptomatic heart failure, rheumatic heart disease, thyrotoxicosis and hypertension but little is known about treatment offered to these patients and challenges involved. Treatment is aimed at relief of symptoms, prevention of complication and control of ventricular rate by pharmacological means mainly and newer and surgical options are not available to patients in the sub region. In conclusion atrial fibrillation is common in the West African sub region and various treatment options are available.
Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiovascular Disease, Rhythm Control, Embolisation, West Africa
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