A simple awareness campaign in general practice identifies new cases of atrial fibrillation (AF), claims research presented at ESC Congress 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.