Atrial Fibrillation

Every year around 75,000 Americans learn that they have atrial fibrillation (AFib)—the most common type of arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm. Having AFib puts people at an increased risk for stroke, which can be both deadly and costly. Medicare alone is estimated to pay .7 billion per year to treat newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation patients.

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    • Between 2.7 and 6.1 million Americans have AFib.  
    • The heart can beat upwards of 175 times or more per minute during an AFib episode.  
    • AFib prevalence estimates
      Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart arrhythmia in the U.S. Often going undiagnosed, AFib prevalence estimates vary between 2.7 million and 6.1 million Americans.  
    • Age as a risk factor of Afib
      At age 60, 1 in 25 Americans have AFib. At age 80+, this increases to nearly 1 in 10.  
    • AFib prevalence as population ages
      As our population continues to age, prevalence of Afib is going to skyrocket, to a projected 5.6 to 15.9 million adults by 2050.  
    • Projected AFib prevalence
      Projected increases in the prevalence of Afib  
    • AFib, an economic burden
      AFib is a major economic burden for the U.S. with at least $6.65 billion in healthcare costs attributable to the disease each year. This estimate may be low. One study…  
    • Risk of stroke in people with AFib
      The risk of having a stroke increases 5-fold in individuals with AFib. Individuals with AFib also have more severe and recurrent strokes than those without the disease.  
    • Inpatient & outpatient AFib treatment costs
      Distribution of inpatient and selected outpatient costs for treating AFib.  
    • AFib-related stroke and disability
      Stroke is very disabling and individuals recovering from a stroke who also have AFib have a higher risk of remaining disable or handicapped compared to stroke patients without AFib.  
    • Heart failure in people with AFib
      AFib can also lead to heart failure. Within the first year of diagnosis, AFib patients have a 36.7% chance of experiencing heart failure– compared to 10.4% in those without AFib.  
    • AFib doubles dementia risk
      Individuals with AFib have a twice the risk of dementia.  
    • AFib increases mortality risk
      Most importantly, AFib double the person’s risk of death and is the cause of nearly 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.  
    • Quality of life in AFib patients
      Individuals with AFib report substantially worse quality of life compared to those without the disease  
    • Annual direct cost of Afib
      Average annual cost comparison between patients with and without atrial fibrillation  
    • Medical service utilization in AFib
      Medical service utilization in persons with and without atrial fibrillation  
    • Annual AFib care
      Each year AFib leads to around 350,000 hospitalizations, 5 million office visits, 276,000 emergency department visits, and 234,000 hospital outpatient department visits.  
    • Average length of stay for major bleeding complications
      The average length of stay for major bleeding complications is six days.  
    • Hospitalization costs for patients with nonrecurrent ischemic stroke
      The cost of hospitalization for patients with nonrecurrent ischemic stroke is $4,991 more in patients with atrial fibrillation, than in patients without the disease.        
    • Hospital costs for ischemic stroke
      Hospital costs for nonrecurrent ischemic stroke are 20% higher in patients with atrial fibrillation, than in patients without the disease.  
    • Annual strokes from AFib
      Atrial fibrillation accounts for between 75,000 and 100,000 strokes per year.  
    • Atrial fibrillation increases stroke risk
      Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke 5- fold.  
    • Atrial Fibrillation prevalence increase from 1992 to 2002
      Among Medicare patients ages 65 and older, atrial fibrillation prevalence increased from 3.2% in 1992 to 6.0% in 2002–with higher prevalence in older patients.  
    • Atrial fibrillation prevalence projection, 2050
      Atrial fibrillation prevalence is projected to rise to between 5.6 and 12.1 million in 2050.  
    • Atrial fibrillation on death certificates
      In 2008, atrial fibrillation was mentioned on 99,294 death certificates in the U.S. and was the underlying cause of death in 15,383.  
    • AFib attributed stroke rate by age
      The percentage of strokes attributable to atrial fibrillation increases from 1.5% at ages 50 to 59, to 23.5% at ages 80 to 89.  
    • Atrial fibrillation incidence in women
      Atrial fibrillation in women ranged from 6.6 per 100,000 people per year for patients between the ages of 15 and 44 to 1,203.7 per 100,000 people per year for patients…  
    • Atrial fibrillation as the primary discharge diagnosis rates
      Atrial fibrillation was listed as the primary discharge diagnosis in 20.6 per 100,000 people per year for patients between the ages of 15 and 44 and 1,077.4 per 100,000 people…  
    • Average age of AFib patients
      The mean age for atrial fibrillation is 66.8 years in men and 74.6 years in women.  
    • Atrial fibrillation prevalence, 2012
      Atrial fibrillation is estimated to impact between 2.7 and 6.1 million Americans.  
    • Stroke prevention through optimal anticoagulation
      If half of atrial fibrillation patients who currently receive warfarin in a routine care setting had their anti-coagulation optimized, around 9,000 strokes and more than 29,000 bleeds would be prevented.  
    • Effect of optimal anticoagulation
      If 50% of atrial fibrillation patients who currently receive warfarin in routine medical care were optimally anticoagulated, 9,852 emboli would be prevented and $1.3 billion would be saved each year.  
    • Effects of optimal anticoagulation among AFib patients
      If 50% of individuals with atrial fibrillation who do not receive prophylaxis were optimally anti-coagulated, 19,380 emboli would be prevented and $1.1 billion would be saved each year.  
    • Cost-savings associated with optimal anticoagulation in AFib patients
      If half of all atrial fibrillation patients receiving suboptimal or no anticoagulation instead received optimal anticoagulation, 28,000 strokes could be prevented each year at a savings of around $2.5 billion in direct…  
    • t-PA cost savings
      The total annual benefit to society from t-PA use in the United States is around $363 million—$60 million in direct cost savings to society plus an additional 7,510 QALYs. This means…  
    • Per-patient annual cost of treating stroke in atrial fibrillation patients
      The per-patient annual cost of treating stroke in atrial fibrillation patients was found to be $1,485 in a wellcontrolled anti-coagulation clinic, $3,710 for those receiving warfarin in routine medical care,…  
    • Cost of warfarin therapy for AFib patients
      In patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) and one additional stroke risk factor, warfarin therapy cost $8,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) saved.  
    • Cost-savings associated with Warfarin use in AFib patients
      Warfarin use in Medicare patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation was independently associated with lower medical costs averaging $9,836 per patient, per year.  
    • AFib practice guidelines reduce direct health care costs
      The use of practice guidelines in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients significantly decreased hospitalization and resource utilization—with an average decrease in 30-day total direct health care costs of around $1,400 per patient.  
    • Identifying individuals at high risk for developing AFib
      Using simple bedside measures, identification of individuals at risk for developing atrial fibrillation is feasible. Selecting high-risk individuals for inclusion in atrial fibrillation prevention trials may also enhance prevention strategies.  
    • Catheter ablation reduces risk of stroke and death among AFib patients
      Atrial fibrillation patients who underwent catheter ablation had a reduced risk of stroke and death—2.2% of those who had ablation experienced stroke versus 4.7% on medications alone, and 6% died from…  
    • Decrease in AFib hospitalization rates
      The use of practice guidelines in atrial fibrillation patients saw a decrease in rate of hospitalization from 74%to 38%.  
    • Stroke risk reduction from thrombin inhibitor in AFib patients
      A recently approved direct thrombin inhibitor was found to reduce the risk of stroke/peripheral embolic events in atrial fibrillation patients by 34%, and the risk of hemorrhagic stroke by 74%—compared…  
    • Adjusted-dose warfarin reduced stroke risk in AFib patients
      Meta-analysis of randomized trials found that adjusted-dose warfarin reduced stroke risk in atrial fibrillation patients by 60%. Antiplatelet agents reduced risk by 20%.  
    • Aspirin use in AFib patients
      Meta-analysis of a number of randomized controlled trials found that aspirin use in atrial fibrillation patients reduced stroke risk by an average 22%.  
    • Stroke rates among Afib patients
      In one year, 58,283 of the 1.265 million Medicare beneficiaries with atrial fibrillation that did not receive prophylaxis suffered a stroke. For those who did receive anti-coagulants, 38,468 suffered strokes.  
    • AFib patients over age 80, 2050
      By 2050, it is estimated that more than 50% of Americans with atrial fibrillation will be age 80 and older.  
    • AFib prevalence rate projection, 2050
      By 2050, it is estimated that 88% of Americans with atrial fibrillation will be age 65 and older.  
    • Projected AFib incidence, 2050
      If current incidence estimates are applied to Census Bureau projections, by 2050 the number of Americans with atrial fibrillation could exceed 12 million. If increases in incidence continue, that number could…  
    • AFib prevalence projected to double by 2050
      By 2050, the prevalence of atrial fibrillation will have more than doubled since 2001—growing to an estimated 5.6 million to 12.1 million Americans.  
    • Annual AFib-related stroke Medicare costs
      Stroke in Medicare patients with atrial fibrillation who were not treated with anticoagulants, cost Medicare $4.8 billion each year in direct costs. Those who had strokes despite prophylactic treatment cost an additional…  
    • Annual cost of treating privately insured patients for AFib
      The annual cost of treating privately insured patients for atrial fibrillation (AF) is $12,350 per patient— approximately 5 times greater than treating patients without AF.  
    • Healthcare costs of atrial fibrillation
      Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major economic burden for society with the biggest cost driver being hospitalizations—accounting for 52% of costs. Drugs for AF account for 23% of costs, consultations…  
    • Annual cost of AFib-related stroke in Medicare patients
      The annual cost of stroke in Medicare patients with atrial fibrillation is estimated at $8 billion.  
    • Total medical costs for Afib patients over 15-month period
      A study of Medicare beneficiaries with atrial fibrillation found that total medical costs for treating these patients during a 15-month follow-up period were an average of $24,000 per patient—63% of…  
    • Cost of AFib-related stroke in Medicare patients
      The incremental treatment costs associated with stroke in the year following diagnosis of atrial fibrillation are an estimated $7,907 per Medicare patient.  
    • One-Year Cost Component for Atrial Fibrillation & Non AF Medicare Patients
      One-Year Cost Component for AF & Non AF Medicare Patients  
    • AFib Medicare cost
      Medicare alone is estimated to pay $15.7 billion per year to treat newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation patients.  
    • Atrial fibrillation costs
      Around 73% of total U.S. atrial fibrillation costs are for inpatient expenses.  
    • Distribution of inpatient and selected outpatient costs for treating atrial fibrillation
      Distribution of inpatient and selected outpatient costs for treating atrial fibrillation  
    • Direct medical costs for treatment of atrial fibrillation, 2001
      The direct medical costs for ambulatory and outpatient treatment of atrial fibrillation patients in 2001 was  an estimated $1.76 billion. Office visits accounted for 66% of those costs, emergency department…  
    • Estimated hospital costs for atrial fibrillation patients, 2001
      The estimated costs for hospitalization of atrial fibrillation (AF) patients in 2001 were $2.93 billion for patients with AF as their primary discharge diagnosis.  
    • AFib treatment costs, 2001
      In 2001, the estimated treatment costs of atrial fibrillation were $6.65 billion per year—this included hospitalization costs, in- and out-patient care, and medications. This did not include costs of stroke…  
    • Depression and anxiety in AFib patients
      Around 1/3 of atrial fibrillation patients have elevated levels of depression and anxiety.  
    • Hospital readmission rates among AFib patients
      In the year following initial hospitalization for atrial fibrillation (AF), 12.5% of chronic AF patients were readmitted for AF—17.6% of readmissions occurred within 1 month. Among newly-diagnosed patients, 10.1% were…  
    • AFib patient hospital visits
      Individuals with atrial fibrillation (AF) are 4 times more likely to visit the hospital 3 or more times in the year following an AF diagnosis—compared to those without the disease.  
    • Medical care rates during the year following an AFib diagnosis
      A study of Medicare beneficiaries found that during the year following an atrial fibrillation (AF) diagnosis: • 28% of AF patients (versus 7% of non-AF patients) had 3 or more hospital…  
    • AFib strokes occurring in patients 75+
      Close to half of all atrial fibrillation associated strokes occur in patients age 75 and older.  
    • The risk of stroke attributable to atrial fibrillation by age
      The risk of stroke attributable to atrial fibrillation increases from 1.5% for those ages 50 to 59 to 23.5% for those ages 80 to 89.  
    • Atrial fibrillation stroke risk
      Atrial fibrillation (AF) increases the risk of severe and recurrent ischemic stroke. Patients not treated with anticoagulants have a 2.1-fold increase in risk of recurrent stroke and 2.4-fold increase in…  
    • Ischemic strokes caused by AFib
      Atrial fibrillation is responsible for at least 15% to 20% of all ischemic strokes.  
    • Risk of ischemic stroke in AFib patients
      The risk of ischemic stroke in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation patients is 2 to 7 times (200% to 700%) greater than in those without the disease.  
    • Heart failure rates among AFib patients
      A study of Medicare beneficiaries found that those with atrial fibrillation (AF) were significantly more likely to experience heart failure than their non-AF counterparts (36.7% versus 10.4%).  
    • Primary diagnoses for AFib patients
      Heart failure was listed as the primary diagnosis for 11.8% of patients hospitalized with atrial fibrillation (AF). Coronary heart disease was listed for 9.9% of AF patients, and stroke was…  
    • Most common causes of death after AFib diagnosis
      Within the first 4 months of diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, the most common cause of cardiovascular deaths are coronary artery disease (22%), heart failure (14%), and ischemic stroke (10%). After…  
    • Medicare beneficiaries AFib mortality rate
      Of Medicare beneficiaries who receive an atrial fibrillation diagnosis, 1 in 4 will die within a year.  
    • Atrial fibrillation doubles mortality risk
      Atrial fibrillation is associated with an approximate doubling of mortality risk.  
    • Atrial fibrillation as a contributory cause of death
      Around 84% of all deaths with atrial fibrillation as a contributory cause are in individuals age 75 and older.  
    • Atrial fibrillation as a contributory cause of death, 2011
      Atrial fibrillation is a contributory cause of death for around 93,000 Americans each year.  
    • Prevalence of Diagnosed Atrial Fibrillation Stratified by Age and Sex
      Prevalence of Diagnosed Atrial Fibrillation Stratified by Age and Sex  
    • Lifetime risk of atrial fibrillation
      At age 80, the remaining lifetime risk of atrial fibrillation is around 22%.  
    • AFib rates by age
      Around 82% of Americans with atrial fibrillation are age 65 and older. Around 37% are age 80 and older.  
    • Atrial fibrillation prevalence by age, 2001
      Atrial fibrillation affects around 1 in 25 Americans age 60 and older, increasing to close to 1 in 10 adults by age 80.  
    • Atrial fibrillation prevalence doubles with age
      Atrial fibrillation prevalence doubles with each decade of age—reaching close to 9% by age 80.  
    • Median age AFib patient
      The median age of people with atrial fibrillation is about 75 years.  
    • Atrial fibrillation prevalence, 2001
      An estimated 2.66 million Americans currently have atrial fibrillation.  
    • AFib prevalence, 2006
      As much as 1% of the U.S. population is estimated to have atrial fibrillation  
    • Lifetime risk of developing atrial fibrillation for men and women
      The lifetime risk of developing atrial fibrillation is around 1 in 4 for both men and women age 40 and older.  
    • Atrial Fibrillation is Increasingly Prevalent in the United States
      Atrial Fibrillation is Increasingly Prevalent in the United States  
    • Atrial fibrillation ablation prevents recurrence of AFib
      Atrial fibrillation ablation, which involves using a catheter inserted into the heart to destroy electrical conduction tissue in or near the atria, prevents the recurrence of atrial fibrillation in up…  
    • Atrial fibrillation prevalence, 2007
      An estimated 2.2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation and most are over the age of 65.  
    • Effectiveness of pacemaker/defibrillators to control AFib
      Widespread use of pacemaker/defibrillators to control atrial fibrillation could result in a 50% decrease in stroke.