Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice

The Red Book
8.7 Atrial fibrillation
☰ Table of contents

AF is the most common heart arrhythmia; it increases in incidence with age,96,97 affecting less than 1% of patients aged <60 years and between 5% and 15% of patients aged >80 years.98

Systematic screening for AF is not recommended; however, opportunistic screening when taking a blood pressure or at other times appears to be cost effective.99



  1. Lloyd-Jones DM, Wang TJ, Leip EP, et al. Lifetime risk for development of atrial fibrillation: The Framingham Heart Study. Circulation 2004;110(9):1042–46. 
  2. Rosamond W, Flegal K, Furie K, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics – 2008 update: A report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Circulation 2008;117(4):e25–146. 
  3. Kalman JM, Sanders P, Brieger DB, et al. National Heart Foundation of Australia consensus statement on catheter ablation as a therapy for atrial fibrillation. Med J Aust 2013;198(1):27–28.
  4. Moran PS, Flattery MJ, Teljeur C, Ryan M, Smith SM. Effectiveness of systematic screening for the detection of atrial fibrillation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013;4:Cd009586.