The clinical and public health importance of detecting and treating atrial fibrillation (AF), a predominantly chaotic and fast cardiac dysrhythmia that disrupts cardiac output and increases the probability of intracardiac and systemic thrombosis, is increasingly being recognized. This article describes the epidemiology and economic health burden of AF and reviews the evidence to suggest that an epidemic of AF will persist for the foreseeable future.
Simon Stewart, PhD, RN, FAHA, NHF of Australia, Chair of Cardiovascular Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
Corresponding author: Simon Stewart, PhD, RN, FAHA, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, City East Campus, North TCE, Adelaide, Australia (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Professor Stewart is supported by the NHF of Australia and the NH&MRC of Australia.