The Burden of Atrial Fibrillation: Understanding the Impact

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Biosense Webster EMEA, a Division of Johnson & Johnson Medical NV/SA and leader in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation has today, during AF Association Global AF Aware Week, published a report that uncovers the growing burden of Atrial Fibrillation on patients, caregivers and healthcare systems across Europe.

The new report is calling for greater awareness and emphasis on the scale and impact of AF which is fast becoming one of the world’s most significant health issues. The new millennium epidemic not only disrupts the quality of life for the 11 million people across Europe who suffer from AF, but also costs healthcare systems up to €3,286 million annually across European countries.

AF is characterized by an irregular and often fast heart rhythm that results in uncoordinated contraction of the top two chambers of the heart. The irregular heart rhythm may cause blood clots, as blood can pool in the heart before being pumped into the brain causing an AF related stroke, a particularly debilitating form of stroke. AF is typically a progressive disease, with one in five patients progressing from paroxysmal (intermittent) AF to persistent (constant) AF in one year.

The report highlights that by 2030 the number of people with AF is projected to increase by up to 70%, and that by 2050 Europe will have the greatest increase in AF patients compared to other regions globally. Furthermore, by 2030 the number of stroke events and medical visits is expected to increase, with 280,000-340,000 new ischemic strokes, 3.5-4 million hospitalizations for AF and 100-120 million outpatient visits expected.

burden of atrial fibrillation infographic