Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common clinical arrhythmia and the prevalence increases with age. AF increases the risk of ischaemic stroke fivefold and accounts for almost one-third of all strokes. As AF is often asymptomatic there are many undetected cases. It is important to find patients with AF and additional risk factors for stroke in order to initiate oral anticoagulation treatment, which can reduce the risk of an ischaemic stroke by 60-70%. Screening is recommended in European guidelines, however the most suitable population and the most suitable device for AF detection remain to be defined.
The main objective of this study is to test the hypothesis that AF screening with 14-days continuous ECG monitoring in high-risk individuals identified with a risk prediction model is more effective than routine care in identifying patients with undetected AF.
Effectively detecting AF among patients with risk factors for ischaemic stroke has the potential to decrease mortality and morbidity, stroke burden and costs for the society as a whole.