Prevalence of undetected atrial fibrillation and the association with cardiovascular risk factors in the community

Early identification of previously undetected and asymptomatic AF via a screening program will lead to early intervention and treatment, thus lowering risk of a future stroke or cardiovascular event. This study is designed to test the following hypotheses:

  • The proportion of population with undiagnosed AF is higher than currently known.
  • The rate of new AF detection is higher with a twice daily for a fortnight monitoring using a mobile ECG device compared to a single event 12 lead ECG recording.
  • Undiagnosed AF increases cardiovascular risk, affects the cardiac and vascular structure and function, leading to premature cardiac ageing

The primary aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of undetected atrial fibrillation (AF) in men and women over the age of 55 years.

The secondary aims of this project is to determine:

  • The proportion of participants newly diagnosed with AF using the handheld iECG twice daily for two weeks intermittent recordings monitored over 5 years.
  • The association between cardiovascular risk factors and the presence of undetected AF, cardiac and vascular structure and function, on future cardiovascular events through annual questionnaire follow-up and data record linkage over a 5-year observation follow-up period.
  • The association between baseline cardiac and inflammatory markers on the development of AF, coronary heart disease (CHD) and heart failure (HF); cardiac and vascular structure and function.
  • The relation between atrial fibrillation with cognitive impairment, frailty, and quality of life.

It is anticipated that this study will commence recruitment at both Monash and Curtin University in late 2018.