Published: 17 March 2020
Author(s): Stefano Fumagalli
Issue: March 2020
Section: Commentary

Some weeks ago, while I was visiting an old lady with a first episode of atrial fibrillation (AF), a friend of mine, a very clever cardiologist and scientist, said: “Do not worry madam, you have an AF, the heart equivalent of an appendicitis”. Many cardiologists and internists still think that AF is a common but not severe cardiac condition, characterized by a benign prognosis provided that patients go on taking their anticoagulant medications. This concept is presently and continuously challenged by some relevant evidence, which clearly demonstrates how the clinical weight of AF goes well beyond that represented by the increased thromboembolic risk.

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