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Title: Prevalence of atrial fibrillation in adults participating in a large-scale voluntary screening programme in Belgium
Authors: CLAES, Neree 
Van Laethem, Christophe
Goethals, Marnix
Goethals, Peter
Mairesse, Georges H.
Schwagten, Bruno
Nuyens, Dieter
Vijgen, Johan
Issue Date: 2012
Source: ACTA CARDIOLOGICA, 67 (3), p. 273-278
Abstract: Objective Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia in clinical practice. AF fulfils many of the criteria for a screening programme. No data about the prevalence of AF in non-hospitalized patients are available in Belgium. The aim of the study was to assess feasibility and effectiveness of a nationwide-organized voluntary screening programme in the general population in Belgium. Methods A total of 13.564 participants were screened, of whom 10,758 were older than 40 years (GSP group). Participants filled in stroke risk stratification questionnaires (CHADS2 and CHA2DS2-VASc). A one-lead electrocardiogram was performed. Results 228 participants had AF at the time of screening (AF group), with 125 women and 103 men (i.e. 1.9% and 2.6% of total women and men), representing a prevalence of 2.2% (95% Cl 1.3% and 3.0%) of the screened population. Age of the AF group was 67 +/- 12 y (range 40-87 y). Using the CHADS2-score, 58% of participants with a positive AF screening had a high risk score, and 21% had an intermediate risk score. Using the CHA2DS2-VASc-score, 72% of the participants had a high risk score, and 21% had an intermediate risk score. Conclusion AF was present in 2.2% of the respondents. At least 60% of AF group had an increased risk for thrombo-embolism. Although substantial methodological issues limit the exact interpretation of these results, the present study shows that a volunatry screening programme with a simple screening protocol is able to detect an important number of patients with previously undetected AF.
Notes: [Claes, Neree; Schrooten, Ward] Univ Hasselt, Fac Med, BE-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Goethals, Marnix] H Hart Hosp, Dept Cardiol, Roeselare, Belgium. [Goethals, Peter] St Jan Hosp, Brussels Heart Ctr, Brussels, Belgium. [Mairesse, Georges] Clin Sud Luxembourg, Dept Cardiol, Arlon, Belgium. [Schwagten, Bruno] Erasmus MC, Dept Cardiol, Rotterdam, Netherlands. [Nuyens, Dieter] Katholieke Univ Leuven Hosp, Dept Cardiol, Louvain, Belgium. [Vijgen, Johan] Jessa Hosp, Heart Ctr Hasselt, Hasselt, Belgium.
Keywords: Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems; atrial fibrillation; voluntary screening; prevalence;Atrial fibrillation; voluntary screening; prevalence
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ISSN: 0001-5385
e-ISSN: 1784-973X
DOI: 10.2143/AC.67.3.2160714
ISI #: 000305814400001
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validations: ecoom 2013
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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