BACKGROUND - Limited data exist on trends in incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF). We assessed the community-based trends in AF incidence for 1980 to 2000 and provided prevalence projections to 2050. METHODS AND RESULTS - The adult residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, who had ECG-confirmed first AF in the period 1980 to 2000 (n=4618) were identified. Trends in age-adjusted incidence were determined and used to construct model-based prevalence estimates. The age- and sex-adjusted incidence of AF per 1000 person-years was 3.04 (95% CI, 2.78 to 3.31) in 1980 and 3.68 (95% CI, 3.42 to 3.95) in 2000. According to Poisson regression with adjustment for age and sex, incidence of AF increased significantly (P=0.014), with a relative increase of 12.6% (95% CI, 2.1 to 23.1) over 21 years. The increase in age-adjusted AF incidence did not differ between men and women (P=0.84). According to the US population projections by the US Census Bureau, the number of persons with AF is projected to be 12.1 million by 2050, assuming no further increase in age-adjusted incidence of AF, but 15.9 million if the increase in incidence continues. CONCLUSIONS - The age-adjusted incidence of AF increased significantly in Olmsted County during 1980 to 2000. Whether or not this rate of increase continues, the projected number of persons with AF for the United States will exceed 10 million by 2050, underscoring the urgent need for primary prevention strategies against AF development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)