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Med Clin North Am. 2008 Jan;92(1):17-40, ix.

Status of the epidemiology of atrial fibrillation.

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  • 1Boston University, The Framingham Heart Study, 73 Mount Wayte Avenue, Framingham, MA 01702, USA.


Atrial fibrillation (AF), an increasingly common dysrhythmia, is responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality. Currently in the United States, approximately 2.3 million people are diagnosed with AF and, based on the census, this number may rise to 5.6 million by 2050. Risk factors for AF include advancing age and cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. The chief hazard of AF is embolic stroke, which is increased four- to fivefold, assuming great importance in advanced age when it becomes a dominant factor. AF is associated with about a doubling of mortality.

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