Duke launches a-fib treatment study
To better study treatments and patient outcomes linked to atrial fibrillation, the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) has initiated the Outcomes Registry for Better informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (ORBIT-AF).

The two-year study, which will begin next month, will analyze and assess 10,000 patients diagnosed with AF with the hope of discovering ways to help reduce risks associated with the condition, according to DCRI.

AF accounts for 15-20 percent of the 800,000 stroke victims each year.  By 2050, the facility said that the number of patients diagnosed with AF will increase to 16 million.

“Atrial fibrillation has a significant effect on the American health care system, as it increases a patient’s risk for suffering a stroke by up to five times,” said cardiologist Eric Peterson, MD, associate director of DCRI and chairman of ORBIT-AF. “We expect ORBIT-AF will provide valuable insights that could potentially improve patient care and outcomes for patients with atrial fibrillation.”

According to Durham, N.C.-based DCRI, data related to patient demographics, geographic information, insurance and provider information and risk profiles will be gathered and evaluated from over 300 U.S. healthcare facilities.

Researchers will study how AF impacts healthcare costs, outcomes and quality of life, while also helping to minimize the scope of the disease with enhanced treatments.

Eligible study participants will be assessed in an outpatient procedure every six, 12, 18 and 24 months that will gauge all patient-related cardiovascular events.

In addition, the study will look into patient treatments including the use of blood-thinners to prevent strokes in patients diagnosed with AF.

The Institute of Medicine recently named AF the top priority for comparative effectiveness research.