Epidemiology

Incidence and prevalence of AF

AF is the most common sustained abnormal heart rhythm in adults.

Approximately six million individuals in Europe have AF and this number is predicted to increase 2.5-fold by 2050 as a result of:

– An ageing population

– Improved survival of patients with conditions which predispose AF (e.g. heart attack)

– Increased incidence of AF

The likelihood of developing AF increases with advancing age. People over the age of 40 years have a 1 in 4 risk of developing AF over their remaining lifetime.

Risk of stroke

The rate of death due to stroke is nearly two-fold higher in men and three-fold higher in women with AF compared to those without AF.

Importantly, strokes that result from AF are the most severe. They are associated with high mortality and disability rates, and a 50% likelihood of death within one year.