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Evolving perspectives for personalised management of patients with atrial fibrillation
  1. Paulus Kirchhof1,2
  1. 1University of Birmingham Center for Cardiovascular Sciences, School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, and SWBH NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Hospital of the University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paulus Kirchhof, University of Birmingham Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and SWBH NHS trust, IBR, 1st Floor, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; p.kirchhof{at}bham.ac.uk

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This editorial introduces a series of review articles on different diagnostic modalities that can help to personalise the treatment of atrial fibrillation. The editorial outlines the current best evidence-based management of atrial fibrillation, and highlights the huge clinical need to improve outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation further. It appears that understanding the causes of atrial fibrillation in individual patients would allow to design, test and validate better and personalised strategies for the treatment of this common threat to healthy ageing.

This issue of Heart inaugurates a series of review articles on atrial fibrillation. The reviews will explore different ways to apply existing diagnostic tests to personalise the management of patients with atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation has received a lot of attention by researchers, clinicians, journals and the wider public in recent years, and there are good reasons to think and talk about this common arrhythmia: Assuming that the average reader of Heart is around 40 years old, every fourth of us will suffer from atrial fibrillation in his or her life.1 Those of us who will work in clinical medicine for another 20 years or 30 years will be faced with double or triple the amount of patients with atrial fibrillation that they see today.2 Furthermore, atrial fibrillation, while rarely acutely life-threatening, bears severe consequences for patients and societies: Atrial fibrillation causes …

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