Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is an irregular heartbeat and is the most common form of heart rhythm disorder affecting approximately 900,000 people in England, (1.74% of the population). National data suggests AF accounts for approximately 20% of all strokes.
In North West London (NWL), Public Health England estimates there are more than 17,000 people with undiagnosed AF. This results in a considerably higher risk of AF-related strokes for those not undergoing treatment. We also know that over 4,300 patients with identified AF in NWL and at a high risk of stroke are not on the anticoagulation treatment recommended in NICE Guideline CG180.
AF can be controlled with drug treatments to prevent further complications, predominantly strokes. Anticoagulants alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk of a stroke. Anticoagulants may also be used with antiarrhythmics, slowing down or maintaining a healthy heart rhythm.
As part of the pan-London AF programme, we aim to prevent AF-related stroke and associated mortality through better identification and management of people with AF. This is being achieved through:
- Increasing anticoagulation of untreated high-risk AF patients;
- Improving the quality of anticoagulation;
- Increasing the detection of undiagnosed AF in high-risk patients.
Read more in Reducing the risk of Atrial Fibrillation in North West London hosted on AHSN Atlas library.