Mass screening identifies untreated atrial fibrillation in 5% of 75-76 year olds

The STROKESTOP trial is a mass screening program of all 75-76 year olds in Stockholm County and Region Halland in Sweden, the preliminary data from which were presented ESC, held in August-September in Amsterdam.

For the trial, more than 25,000 people born in 1936 and 1937 were randomized 1:1 to screening for atrial fibrillation(AF) or a control group. Following data analysis, more than 11% of the screening group were found to have had AF. Of these, previously undiagnosed AF was found in 192 (3%) of patients while in 129 (2%) of patients, AF had been diagnosed but they were not on oral anticoagulation (OAC) therapy. More than 90% of the patients with undiagnosed atrial fibrillation were started on OAC.

Principal investigator Dr. Emma Svennberg said: “We found that 5% of patients in the screening arm had untreated atrial fibrillation. We successfully started oral anticoagulation treatment in more than 90% of the patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation. This should reduce their risk of a stroke by up to 70%. We are still collecting data on patients with known atrial fibrillation but not on OAC.”