AF screening fights stroke risk

MASS-SCREENING for atrial fibrillation (AF) in an elderly population affords a significant opportunity for stroke prevention, research suggests.

As part of the STROKESTOP study, half of the 75- to 76-year-olds in two Swedish regions were randomised to an AF screening program using a handheld one-lead ECG recorder with mobile transmitter, with rhythm being recorded intermittently over two weeks.

Of the 7200 participants, 3% were found to have previously unknown AF and most of these people had a normal first ECG.