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Development of effective atrial fibrillation (AF) prevention strategies has become a research priority to reduce the global burden of this arrhythmia. With an estimated prevalence in 2010 of 8.8 million adults aged >55 years and a projected prevalence of 17.9 million by 2060 in the European Union,1 AF is the most frequent cardiac arrhythmia and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Data from several North American and Western European registries provide important information to better understand the epidemiology of AF and form the basis for the development of effective AF preventive interventions. Creation of models that predict the occurrence of AF is one of the first steps to identify the demographic characteristics and cardiovascular risk factors that can be modified or treated to reduce the burden of AF. Furthermore, the assessment of the structural substrate associated with an increased risk of AF (inflammation, fibrosis, structural and electrical remodelling of the left atrium) is also important. The addition of echocardiographic parameters (left atrial (LA) diameter, the sum of diastolic interventricular septal and posterior wall thickness and LV fractional shortening) to …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.