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Help for Common Heart Condition

Atrial fibrillation symposium connects patients with leading experts

More than 300 patients and families dealing with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) learned about the condition, including the latest research and treatments at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/American Heart Association AF symposium on March 20.

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATIONS
Introduction
Mark E. Josephson, MD
Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation: A Critical Appraisal
Mark E. Josephson, MD
The Atrial Fibrillation Consultation: ABC's of AF and Medical Management
Peter J. Zimetbaum, MD
Warfarin: What Every Patient Should Know
Jean Donovan, MSN, ACNP-BC
Surgical Treatments for Atrial Fibrillation
To view the graphic video of a Maze surgery that goes along with slide 27, click here.
Robert C. Hagberg, MD
One Patient's Journey
Joseph P. Kannam, MD
Conclusion
Mark E. Josephson, MD
Dr. Mark Josephson, Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, talks with a patient who attended the conference

Dr. Mark Josephson, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the CardioVascular Institute (CVI) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), told a packed auditorium at the Newton Marriott that while many mysteries remain about the causes of the condition, there are ways it can be successfully managed.

"We are seeing more and more cases of Atrial Fibrillation-in fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg," said Dr. Josephson, a internationally renowned expert who has been called the father of clinical cardiac electrophysiology. "As baby boomers age, the numbers will continue to go up."

The symposium entitled "The Beat Goes On: Living With Atrial Fibrillation" drew AF patients from as far away as Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. AF, irregular heartbeat episodes stemming from faulty electrical signals to the heart, affects about 5% of people over the age of 60. It puts patients at greater risk of stroke.

In addition to Dr. Josephson, speakers included Dr. Peter Zimetbaum, director of the electrophysiology service at the CVI, Dr. Robert Hagberg, a cardiac surgeon, Dr. Joe Kannam, chief of cardiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham and Jean Donovan, a nurse practitioner at the CVI. It was hosted by former WCVB anchorwoman and current BIDMC spokesperson Heather Kahn.

"It makes you appreciate what AF is and options for reducing the major concern-stroke," said John Walsh of Falmouth who has AF. "It made me aware that while it can be serious, it doesn't have to be if you manage it."

"There couldn't have been a better panel," commented Bonnie Bonn of Sudbury, who was diagnosed with AF six years ago. "I knew a lot about AF but I learned so much more."

The panel told the crowd there are new procedures and medications for AF in development.

"It's important to see your doctor every year to learn what is new that might help," advised Dr. Josephson.

Posted March 2010

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-8800

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