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Rate control and quality of life in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation: the Quality of Life and Atrial Fibrillation (QOLAF) Study.

Author(s): Tsuneda T, Yamashita T, Fukunami M, Kumagai K, Niwano S, Okumura K, Inoue H

Affiliation(s): The Second Department of Internal Medicine, University of Toyama, Japan.

Publication date & source: 2006-08, Circ J., 70(8):965-70.

Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: The present study aimed to determine whether quality of life (QOL) in permanent atrial fibrillation (AF) patients would be improved by monotherapy with beta-blocker (BB) or calcium antagonist (CAA) as compared with digitalis. METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty-nine patients with permanent AF under digitalis were randomized into BB (bisoprolol, atenolol or metoprolol) or CAA (verapamil) monotherapy treatment group. Twenty-five were men and the mean age was 67+/-8 years. After the assigned monotherapy, 12 patients received the other monotherapy in a cross-over fashion. Under each treatment, efficacy of rate control was determined by Holter electrocardiogram (ECG), treadmill testing and QOL questionnaire (Short Form-36 (SF-36) and Quality of Life of Atrial Fibrillation (AFQLQ)), and compared with the baseline digitalis treatment. CAA significantly increased mean and minimum heart rate (HR) in Holter ECG as compared with digitalis, whereas BB increased only minimum HR. Exercise duration in treadmill testing was significantly prolonged by CAA treatment, although it only tended to be prolonged by BB treatment. CAA but not BB improved role function-physical score of SF-36, and frequency and severity of symptoms of AFQLQ. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that CAA is preferable to digitalis when monotherapy is selected for short-term improvement of QOL and exercise tolerance in patients with permanent AF.

Page last updated: 2006-11-04

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