More than four million people have atrial fibrillation, an age-related heart rhythm disorder that can impair the heart’s ability to pump blood. A new study from the University of Michigan found that adults who undergo a minimally invasive technique to treat atrial fibrillation, ablation, are less likely to die from a heart attack or heart failure. Dr. Brenda Gillespie, research associate professor of biostatistics, contributed to this report.
The study, published in Heart Rhythm, found that cardiovascular mortality dropped by 60 percent among the 3,058 adults who had their normal heart rhythm successfully restored through catheter ablation. “The study findings show the benefit of catheter ablation extends beyond improving quality of life for adults with atrial fibrillation. If successful, ablation improves life span,” says lead study author Dr. Hamid Ghanbari, an electrophysiologist at the U-M Cardiovascular Center.