Header Image: The AliveCor Kardia Mobile heart monitor. Credit: ©ESC Congress 2017/ESC.
Electrocardiogram (ECG) recording by patients with remote analysis by professionals identifies more atrial fibrillation (AF) than routine care, according to late-breaking results from a randomised trial presented today in a Hot Line – LBCT Session at ESC Congress and published in Circulation. The approach has the potential to reduce AF-related strokes by starting preventative treatment earlier.
AF is a common and serious heart arrhythmia that accounts for up to one-third of strokes. It can lead to the formation of blood clots in the heart, which break off and travel to the brain, causing a stroke or transient ischaemic attack. In more than 25% of AF-related strokes, AF is not picked up before the stroke because there are no obvious symptoms.
“Strokes from AF are often larger, more severe, and harder to survive than other strokes,” said chief investigator Prof Julian Halcox, consultant cardiologist and professor of cardiology at Swansea University Medical School, UK. “There is good evidence that identifying AF before symptoms develop and treating patients with oral anticoagulants and other therapies could greatly reduce the risk of stroke and associated disability and death.”