The global burden of cardiac arrhythmias is huge. Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) face an increased risk for stroke, dementia, heart failure and death¹. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice and is a global epidemic with an estimated worldwide prevalence in 2010 of almost 34 million people². The condition is expected to more than double over the next 35 years³, which underscores the huge burden of AF and the need for newer, more effective ways to improve its detection and treatment.
Many patients affected by AF are asymptomatics or experience brief episodes that could be wrongly attributed to other conditions. Individuals with AF that go unrecognised and so untreated are at an increased risk for stroke and overall mortality³. Holter monitors that typically monitors patients for 24-48 hours run the risk of not capturing AF in a significant proportion of your presenting patients.
Stroke is the second leading cause of disability in Europe and is the sixth leading cause worldwide4. Women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men: about one in five women and one in six men will suffer a stroke in their lifetime4,5. The number of stroke events in Europe is projected to rise from 1.1 million in 2000 to 1.5 million per year by 2025, largely due to the ageing populations6. In the EU, it is estimated that the annual economic cost of stroke is an estimated €27 billion, with an additional €11.1 billion related to informal patient care7. People with AF have a five times greater chance of having a stroke and up to 30% of all strokes result directly from AF8.