Een handige diagnose met 'MyDiagnostick'

AF today

The prevalence and incidence of atrial fibrillation is high and will grow.

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia, with a prevalence between 0.4 - 1% in the general population. The number of AF patients is expected to grow dramatically the coming decennia, especially for men and women above 65 years old. Within the age group of 65 to 75 years, the prevalence already has exceeded 5% and is further rising to 8% for people above 80 years old. The median age of AF patients is 75 years of which 70% is between 65 and 85 years old. The prevalence of AF is higher in men then in women. The lifetime risk to get AF after the age of 55 is 23.8% in men and 22.2% in women.
In 2006, the prevalence of AF in patients above 55 years in The Netherlands was estimated at 220,000 with 33,500 new cases each year (ERGO study). Within the European Union there are 4.5M people with AF and 2.3M in the United States. With 160,000 new cases each year in the US, this number is expected to rise to 3.3 million in 2020 and 5.6 million in 2050. Today, the estimated worldwide prevalence of AF exceeds 5M patients with 720,000 newly diagnosed cases every year. Diagnosis and treatment of AF is still far from optimal.

The incidence of asymptomatic AF is high.

It is known that the prevalence of AF is largely underestimated due to the asymptomatic nature of AF. In addition to patients with diagnosed AF there is a (large) group of patients with undiagnosed AF. This is the group of patients to be found with the MyDiagnostick. In most cases these patients are asymptomatic or have ‘vague’ complaints that may be associated with AF, but cannot be confirmed. Furberg et al. reported that 30% of 277 patients of 65 years or older found to be in AF on a baseline ECG were asymptomatic. In the Framingham Heart Study, Benjamin et al reported that 228 (40%) of 562 AF patients had asymptomatic AF. This study used bi-annual ECG diagnostics and up to 38 years of follow-up of patients. The reported percentage of asymptomatic AF patients is likely an underestimate of the true prevalence, since both studies used low-intensity ECG monitoring. The most recent study by Israel et al. has shown that in 110 patients with implanted pacemakers capable of detecting AF, 38% of the AF patients were completely asymptomatic during all visits to their treating physician. In this study, no clinical or echocardiographic parameters were found to predict the lack of symptoms. In 65% of the patients, the AF episodes were longer than 12 hours and in more than one third even longer than 48 hours..