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Catheter ablation, a common cardiovascular procedure, appears no more effective than drug therapies in preventing strokes, deaths, and other complications in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, patients who get the procedure experience much greater symptom relief and long-term improvements in the quality of life, including  fewer recurrences of the condition and fewer hospitalizations, than those who get only drugs. The findings are from two new studies published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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