The REgistry on Cardiac rhythm disORDers assessing the control of Atrial Fibrillation (RecordAF) is the first worldwide, 1-year observational, longitudinal study of the management of paroxysmal/persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) in recently diagnosed patients. The study was conducted at 532 sites in 21 countries across Europe, America, and Asia; recruitment was completed in April 2008. The primary objectives were to prospectively assess the therapeutic success and clinical outcomes in rhythm- and rate-control strategies. The study design and patient baseline data are reported. A total of 5,814 patients with AF were registered, and 5,604 were eligible for evaluation. Rhythm- and rate-control strategies were applied to 55% and 45% of patients, respectively, at study inclusion. Rhythm-control patients mainly received class III agents (45%) or beta blockers (51%), except for sotalol, and rate-control patients mainly received beta blockers (72%), except for sotalol, or cardiac glycosides (34%). Patients receiving a rhythm-control strategy were younger, had a lower resting heart rate, were more frequently symptomatic, and were more likely to have recently diagnosed AF or paroxysmal AF compared to patients receiving a rate-control strategy. A rate-control strategy was more common in patients with a history of heart failure or valvular heart disease and persistent AF. Rate-control patients more often had previous electrocardiographic evidence of AF and were not in sinus rhythm at inclusion (p <0.01 for both end points). Patients were followed at 6 and 12 months, and changes in therapeutic strategy and clinical outcomes were recorded. In conclusion, the RecordAF study results will provide a global perspective on current AF treatment strategies.
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