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Despite many advances in healthcare, mortality and morbidity related to undetected and hence untreated atrial fibrillation (AF) remain a major challenge.1 To reduce downstream consequences of AF, opportunistic screening for AF is recommended in persons older than 65 years, and systematic, invitation-based screening should be considered in older individuals (aged ≥75) or those at high risk.1
The prevalence of AF rises sharply with age, additional cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular disease. In line with this, large studies performed in younger individuals with low burden of comorbidities have shown a low yield of screening using consumer devices.2 Even though recommended in guidelines, yields have also been disappointingly low in opportunistic screening in older persons attending their general practitioner.3 This low yield may partly be due to insufficient monitoring for the arrhythmia since studies using intermittent or prolonged heart rhythm monitoring have demonstrated the large potential of AF screening.4 5 However, even more important than identifying the appropriate screening methodology may be selecting the right individuals for screening.
Risk scores have been developed to determine the risks for incident AF …
Contributors Both authors contributed equally to this editorial.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
- Arrhythmias and sudden death