The recommendations listed in this document are, whenever possible, evidence based. An extensive evidence review was conducted, focusing on 2006 through October 2012 and selected other references through March 2014. The relevant data are included in evidence tables in the Online Data Supplement. Searches were extended to studies, reviews, and other evidence conducted in human subjects, published in English, and accessible through PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Reports, and other selected databases relevant to this guideline. Key search words included but were not limited to the following: age, antiarrhythmic, atrial fibrillation, atrial remodeling, atrioventricular conduction, atrioventricular node, cardioversion, classification, clinical trial, complications, concealed conduction, cost-effectiveness, defibrillator, demographics, epidemiology, experimental, heart failure, hemodynamics, human, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, meta-analysis, myocardial infarction, pharmacology, postoperative, pregnancy, pulmonary disease, quality of life, rate control, rhythm control, risks, sinus rhythm, symptoms, and tachycardia-mediated cardiomyopathy. Additionally, the writing committee reviewed documents related to atrial fibrillation (AF) previously published by the ACC and AHA. References selected and published in this document are representative and not all-inclusive.
To provide clinicians with a comprehensive set of data, whenever deemed appropriate or when published, the absolute risk difference and number needed to treat or harm are provided in the guideline or data supplement, along with confidence intervals (CI) and data related to the relative treatment effects such as the odds ratio (OR), relative risk (RR), hazard ratio, or incidence rate ratio.