BARCELONA – Roughly 5% of people aged 75 years or older have undiagnosed atrial fibrillation, based on a population-based screening study in Sweden that has assessed nearly 7,000 people, Dr. Mårten Rosenqvist said during an interview at the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology.
Once diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, all these people immediately qualified for anticoagulant treatment because of their age-related stroke risk. The StrokeStop study will follow all the screened people for 5 years, as well as a concurrently assembled cohort of unscreened controls, to determine the benefit from screening for preventing strokes. “If we can reduce the rate of stroke, it would be a reason to implement a national atrial fibrillation screening program” for all people aged 75 years and older, said Dr. Rosenqvist, professor of cardiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
Dr. Rosenqvist said that he is a consultant to Zenicor, a company that markets an ECG-based device for diagnosing atrial fibrillation being used in the StrokeStop study. He also is a consultant to several drug companies.