There is a persistent, substantial gap in the rate of prescribing oral anticoagulation (OAC) for elderly with atrial fibrillation (AF), and it may be due to a misperception on the part of physicians that the elderly are frail. Given an aging population, the number of patients aged 80 years and older presenting with AF is expected to rise 4-fold by the year 2050 and directly addressing this issue may lead to increased rates of OAC in non-frail elderly which in turn can reduce the burden of morbidity, mortality and health care costs associated with ischemic strokes. The Canadian Cardiovascular Society and other major cardiology societies do not have guidelines that provide direction for the management of AF in the frail elderly.
The UNFRAIL AF program will be the starting point for the development of these guidelines.
Dr. Zardasht Oqab Cardiology Fellow
University of Calgary