MUNICH, January 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

- For European Media Only

-- Collection of real life data from 5,000 atrial fibrillation patients (AF) across seven countries will generate invaluable insights into one of Europe's leading causes of stroke(1,2) --

Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH today announced the enrolment of the first patient into the PREvention oF thromboembolic events - European Registry in Atrial Fibrillation (PREFER in AF).(1) Taking a comprehensive approach to the patient registry, PREFER in AF will gather data on the full spectrum of AF patients including those with valvular and non valvular forms of the condition.(1) The registry will also track the impact of new anticoagulant therapies on stroke prevention, (1) in addition to collating insights into patients' satisfaction with their entire AF management, the impact of AF and its management on patient quality of life, (1) and the overall health economic burden of AF across Europe.(1)

In 2010, the World Heart Federation highlighted the need for new multi-national registries to help fill knowledge gaps around AF management and outcomes.(3) Enrolling 5,000 patients from across seven European countries, PREFER in AF will tackle this need by generating robust data on patient attitudes and management approaches, across a broad spectrum of different AF severities.(1) As the AF treatment paradigm continues to change rapidly, these data will also help to establish whether current treatment developments are translating into optimally-balanced anticoagulation in practice, to give patients the best chance of a normal life.

Endorsing the urgent need for this study, Professor José Luis Zamorano, co-Chair of the PREFER in AF Steering Committee and Professor of Cardiology at the University Clinic San Carlos, Madrid, Spain, said, "The potential impact of AF to Europeans is staggering, with numbers affected estimated to rise over the coming years. PREFER in AF is a timely patient registry, which will give us highly valuable insights into the current management of AF patients and the health economic impact of the condition, whilst informing us about how to move forward with patient treatment."

Collecting data from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and UK, the size of the PREFER in AF registry will generate nationally representative data on stroke prevention management approaches, patient satisfaction scores regarding anticoagulant treatment and management, and quality of life markers. Additionally, health economic data on drug treatment, disease and treatment complications including hospitalisation will be collected to estimate the true cost of AF for the European healthcare systems.

Professor José Luis Zamorano further comments on the registry: "This essential patient registry is important as it is focused on patients' quality of life and treatment satisfaction, which are key factors when considering optimal patient care. AF is a condition associated with high morbidity and mortality and when patients are satisfied with their treatment, they stay on treatment."

AF is a leading cause of hospitalisation amongst all cardiac diseases(2) and is the most frequent cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice,(4) with approximately one to two per cent of the general population being affected.(2) AF is also a major cause of stroke(2)and strokes associated with AF are more severe and have a poorer prognosis than non-AF related strokes.(5)

Daiichi Sankyo, a global leader in cardiovascular medicine, is the sponsor of this registry study. Reinhard Bauer, CEO of Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH, comments on the start of the study today: "Daiichi Sankyo is proud to support such a valuable pan-European patient registry and we are very excited that the first patient has enrolled in this important observational study. This registry is an example of our on-going commitment to cardio-vascular medicine striving to further improve the treatment of AF patients and to better understand the real impact of AF on patients, physicians and the health care system."