Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, with a lifetime risk of one in four of developing AF over the age of 40 years. Around 40% of patients are asymptomatic, which is of concern as AF is a major risk factor for stroke. Early detection and appropriate management reduces stroke risk by two-thirds. Atrial fibrillation screening is now recommended in international guidelines, but there are some common arguments against screening. Overall, to be of value any screening program must fulfil the World Health Organization (WHO) Wilson and Jungner criteria for screening programs. In this paper we address the common arguments, and determine if AF screening fulfils the WHO criteria.
- Atrial fibrillation