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10th July 2023

Atrial Fibrillation trial calls for volunteers

Jeroen Hendriks and team

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common heart condition affecting many Australians.

But a new trial, believed to be the only one of its kind in Australia, hopes to improve the care and outcomes of patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

The iCARE-AF trial mirrors a European care model that has significantly reduced the hospitalisation and mortality rates of people with AF.

It aims to recruit up to 1,400 people with AF, who will be closely monitored and managed with regular appointments for two years. Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder, with irregular and often a rapid heart rate that can increase the risk of strokes, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

The iCARE-AF Clinic is offered at the RAH and the Cardiovascular Clinic at Norwood – eventually offering it to other sites, including The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre.

More than 72,000 people were hospitalised for AF in Australia in 2017/18 and contributed to nine per cent of people dying from the condition.

Helping yourself and others is an outcome of participating in clinical trials.

Yvonne Rech, 64 has had AF for years and has been seeing the expert team at the iCARE-AF clinic.

“The iCARE-AF clinic has been absolutely brilliant,’’ she said.

“The iCARE-AF team have told me all the things I can do to potentially reduce my AF, like lose weight, lower my blood pressure and they’ve adjusted my medication.

“I never had this information until now, so I am more pro-active with managing it.’’

If you have been diagnosed with AF and would like to learn more about participating, contact the iCARE-AF clinic on 0479 183 383.

The iCARE-AF team is made up of Professor Jeroen Hendriks (Flinders University), Professor Prashanthan Sanders (Central Adelaide Local Health Network CALHN), cardiac nurses Gemma Wilson, Emma D’Arcy and Donald Olson. Sara Noonan, Danielle Wlochowicz and Anthony Hoan are part of the support team.