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The incidence of atrial fibrillation and the added value of thumb ECG for detecting new cases.

Journal article
Authors Zacharias Mandalenakis
Sandra Tahrodi Lennartsson
Michael Fu
Georgios Lappas
Shijun Li
Annika Rosengren
Mikael Dellborg
Erik Thunström
Kenneth Caidahl
Per-Olof Hansson
Published in Scandinavian cardiovascular journal : SCJ
Volume 52
Issue 5
Pages 256-251
ISSN 1651-2006
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 256-251
Language en
Keywords Atrial fibrillation; Epidemiology; Screening; Thumb electrocardiography
Subject categories Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems, Clinical Laboratory Medicine


To evaluate the incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) as well as the value of thumb electrocardiography (ECG) for identification of paroxysmal AF in a Swedish cohort of middle-aged men from the general population.A population based random cohort of 798 men underwent screening at the age of 50 and re-examined at the age of 60 and 71 years. At the last examination, a thumb ECG recording was conducted for 2 weeks twice a day in 479 men from the original cohort. Registered hospital AF diagnoses were retrieved from the Swedish Patient Registry from 1993 to 2014.During a 21-year follow-up, 77 men (9.6%) were diagnosed with AF; of these men, 49.4% (38 of 77) had permanent AF. Fifteen of 479 (3.1%) patients had paroxysmal AF. Of those, seven had been previously diagnosed with paroxysmal AF through Patient Registry. The incidence of AF increased from 2.2 per 1000 years at risk at the age of 50-54 years to 9.3 per 1000 years at risk at the age 65-70 years. The prevalence of AF at the age of 71 years was increased from 7.1% to 9.9% using thumb ECG.In addition to medical history, patient register and 12-lead -ECG, the use of thumb ECG increased the number of detected paroxysmal AF by 21%.

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