The 2020 European Society of Cardiology guidelines endorse the Atrial Fibrillation Better Care (ABC) pathway as a structured approach for the management of atrial fibrillation (AF), addressing three principal elements: ‘A’ – avoid stroke (with oral anticoagulation), ‘B’ – patient-focused better symptom management, and ‘C’ – cardiovascular and comorbidity risk factor reduction and management. This review summarizes the definitions used for the ABC criteria in different studies and the impact of adherence/non-adherence on clinical outcomes, from 12 studies on seven different cohorts. All studies consistently showed statistically significant reductions in the risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, and mortality among those with ABC pathway adherent treatment. The ABC pathway provides a simple decision-making framework to enable consistent equitable care from clinicians in primary and secondary/tertiary care. Further research examining the impact of ABC pathway implementation in prospective cohorts utilizing consistent inclusion criteria and definitions of ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ adherent care is warranted.
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.