Controlling Heart’s Irregular Rhythm No Better Than Controlling Rate

The preferred and most frequently used initial therapy for the common heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (AF) is a strategy to restore and maintain a normal heart rhythm. However, a study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health found that this “heart rhythm” strategy prevents no more deaths than the alternative, often secondary, approach to treatment which merely controls the rate at which the heart beats – and may have some disadvantages, including more hospitalizations and adverse drug effects.