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Medical therapies for prevention of cardiovascular and renal events in patients with atrial fibrillation and diabetes mellitus

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


  • Laurent Fauchier
  • Giuseppe Boriani
  • Joris R de Groot
  • Reinhold Kreutz
  • Peter Rossing
  • A John Camm
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Atrial fibrillation (AF), type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are three global epidemics with significant effects on morbidity and mortality. Diabetes is a risk factor for AF, and a risk factor for thromboembolism, comorbidity, and mortality when AF is present. The pathophysiology of diabetes-related AF and interrelationships with cardiovascular events and renal events is not fully understood but is in part related to structural, electrical, electromechanical, and autonomic remodelling. The current practice guidelines offer limited recommendations on the management of patients with AF (or risk of AF) and diabetes with its own heterogeneity for the prevention of cardiovascular and renal events. This document discusses possible clinical approaches for these patients. In the last decade, there have been major improvements for the prevention of stroke in AF patients with direct oral anticoagulants, which are preferable to vitamin K antagonists for stroke prevention in DM. Because of the increased risk rate for several cardiovascular adverse events in diabetic patients, a similar relative risk reduction generally translates into greater absolute risk reduction in the diabetic population. Recent trials with non-insulin diabetes drugs using glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors showed a significant reduction for the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 DM. Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors also showed a large reduction in hospitalization for heart failure and renal events, which need to be more completely evaluated in patients with AF. Mechanisms, risks, and optimal management of AF patients with DM who have or are under risk of developing heart failure or CKD are also discussed in this document. The benefits of medical therapies for these patients still need to be put into perspective, and gaps in evidence on some of these issues are likely to be addressed in future years.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropace : European pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac electrophysiology : journal of the working groups on cardiac pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac cellular electrophysiology of the European Society of Cardiology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1873-1891
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2021

ID: 67592439