Atrial Fibrillation  /  Human Burden

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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    • Ischemic stroke hospital stays with an AFib diagnosis
      One in four hospital stays (in 2014) with ischemic stroke also included a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. This is an increase from one in five stays in 1998.  
    • AFib related rates of hospital stays highest in adults ages 85+
      The rate of hospital stays involving atrial fibrillation in 2014 was more than three times as high among adults ages 85 years and older, compared with adults ages 65-84 (16,830…  
    • The heart can beat upwards of 175 times or more per minute during an AFib episode.  
    • 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.  
    • 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 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 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.  
    • 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.