Atrial Fibrillation: Scope of the Problem
The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in the United States is estimated to rise from ≈5.2 million in 2010 to 12.1 million in 2030. The risk of AF increases with age; in those ≥80 years, the prevalence rises to 10%. AF carries a risk for embolic events, including stroke, a risk that can be reduced with chronic oral anticoagulation. “Silent” or asymptomatic atrial fibrillation is sometimes discovered incidentally or with routine monitoring.
What’s New: Calling all boomers!
This week the HEARTLINE Study opened for enrollment. HEARTLINE is a “virtual” randomized trial of 150,000+ Medicare enrollees (65 and older) to assess the efficacy of the Apple Watch coupled with educational initiatives to reduce cardiovascular events (composite outcome of death, MI and stroke). Study participants will be randomly assigned to one of two study groups; those in the first group will use their iPhones- and the Heartline Study app-which will engaging users with regular health education. The second group will additionally be provided (purchase or borrow) with an Apple Watch with which they incorporate the watch’s ECG and irregular rhythm notification into their cardiovascular health monitoring.
The study will allow participants to engage in the cardiovascular health, and the ECG data will provide an important context for encounters with their physicians.
It’s likely one of your patients will enroll in this trial, and may contact you to discuss their participation, or relevant findings about their cardiovascular health. Our K2P library includes Mayo Clinic led AF learning activities designed for internal medicine providers, as well sections on AF in our CV Updates and CurrentMD.
Healthcare providers can access information about Heartline at this link.