Appointment of Josep Lluís Mont, Group leader
Understanding the disease’s development and knowing what happens at its origin will provide us with the tools to prevent it, treat it and minimise its effects

Current research

Problem

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a highly prevalent disease among the population. In fact, it is the most frequent arrhythmia and can have serious health effects on sufferers. It is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality and it increases the risk of heart failure, stroke and death.

Rates of AF increase with age. With the ageing of the current population, treatment of AF has a considerable economic impact on the health system.

Approach

The group studies the causes of atrial fibrillation with the aim of understanding the mechanisms that trigger it and of preventing its development. Based on the results of these studies and given the importance of early detection of the disease, it is being approached from whichever service has detected it: A&E, Primary Care, Neurology (Stroke Code) or Cardiology.

The multidisciplinary Atrial Fibrillation Unit has provided the mechanisms to implement this approach and shorten the time between detection, diagnosis and treatment. Continuous pharmacological updates and interventional approach techniques are gradually enabling its impact to be reduced.

Impact

The group's research has helped improve the way in which patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) are treated. The group has collaborated in the development of the ablation technique from the beginning, and it continues to study how to improve its success, by adapting it to each individual patient.

It has participated in many of the studies that have helped demonstrate the efficacy of new anticoagulant drugs. At the scientific level, the group’s identification of physical exercise as a cause of AF has had a significant impact.