Across England there are an estimated 231,000 people with undetected Atrial Fibrillation1, 2
People with undetected AF are at risk of experiencing an AF-related stroke, which may lead to death or significant disability. Early detection of AF to allow initiation of protective anticoagulant therapy is vital.
Since 2016, the rate of AF detection has increased significantly with over 191,000 people being diagnosed with AF. Opportunistic screening of those aged over 65 has been proven to be the most cost-effective strategy in detecting undiagnosed AF3, 4. Over recent years, the influx of digital AF detection devices has changed the landscape of AF detection, enabling a more accurate assessment to be performed in a wide variety of settings, increasing public accessibility and reducing associated costs.
In this Detect section you can find more information on how the irregularity of heart rhythm caused by AF can be:
- detected by manual pulse checks or using an AF digital detection device.
- incorporated into routine clinical practice or case finding programmes.
Opportunistic screening for those at risk of AF has been shown to be effective and is encouraged as part of routine clinical care. The British Journal of General Practice editorial by John Robson and Richard Schilling in our resources, discusses this in more detail.
AF awareness campaigns provide an opportunity to improve public awareness of AF and its associated risks, educating and encouraging people to routinely check their own pulse rhythm to detect new cases of AF.
3 | Hobbs FDR, Fitzmaurice DA, Mant J, et al. A randomised controlled trial and cost effectiveness study of systematic screening (targeted and total population screening) versus routine practice for detection of atrial fibrillation in people over 65 years and over.
4 | The SAFE study. Health Technol Assess 2005; 9:1-74. Moran PS, Flattery C, Teljeur M et al. Effectiveness
of systematic screening for the detection of atrial fibrillation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013.
Substantial evidence has now accrued to robustly support systematic case finding using pulse regularity checks in general practice to ... read more
To determine the most cost-effective method of screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) in the population aged 65 years and over, as well read more
Know Your Pulse: Raising awareness to reduce atrial fibrillation-related strokes for the public and health professionals
The Innovation Agency, North West Coast Academic Health Science Network has run several campaigns to help highlight awareness of Atrial read more
This scratch card developed by North East and North Cumbria AHSN is designed for use in community pharmacies and community settings to ... read more
Tips to take a good reading using the AliveCor. Including possible outcomes and recommended action. read more
How to check your pulse. You may be able to tell if you have a regular or irregular heart beat by checking your pulse. This is ... read more