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Simple awareness campaign in general practice identifies new cases of AF
Date:9/2/2014

Barcelona, Spain Tuesday 2 September 2014: A simple awareness campaign in general practice identifies new cases of atrial fibrillation (AF), according to research presented at ESC Congress today by Professor Jean-Marc Davy from France.

Professor Davy said: "Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. It multiplies the risk of heart failure risk by three-fold and the risk of stroke risk by five-fold. Similarly, AF is responsible for ischaemic stroke in 1 of 4 cases. However, AF is often overlooked and diagnosed too late. In 20% of cases, AF is diagnosed when a stroke occurs. We therefore designed a campaign to improve early diagnosis of AF."

PROFIL FA is an AF awareness campaign in general practice. Participating general practitioners (GPs) were asked, on a given day, to look for several clinical items in all their consecutive patients over 65 years, according to a dedicated and very simple questionnaire (figure 1):

  • The 7 criteria of the thromboembolic risk score CHA2DS2-VASc
  • The existence of 4 symptoms, transient and suggestive of AF episodes: palpitations, chest pain, dyspnoea (shortness of breath) and asthenia (weakness)
  • Palpation of an irregular radial pulse.

When AF was suspected, GPs referred patients to a cardiologist for diagnostic confirmation.

The study included 603 physicians and 4 592 patients. AF had already been diagnosed in 840 patients (18% of cases) (figure 2). The remaining 3 752 patients were evaluated on a single day using the questionnaire. Of these, AF was clinically suspected in 585 patients (1 in 6) and they were referred to a cardiologist.

Out of the 585 patients in whom AF was suspected by the GP, 129 patients (nearly 1 in 4) had the existence of AF confirmed by the specialist who then prescribed appropriate treatment. Professor Davy said: "Our simple and easy campaign held on just one day led to the diagnosis of 129 patients with AF who t
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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
34-670-521-210
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert  

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Simple awareness campaign in general practice identifies new cases of AF
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