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- New report released during AF Association Global AF Aware Week highlights AF as one of the world’s most significant health issues
- Shows need for greater awareness of AF and its impact on patients and on healthcare systems across Europe
- By 2030 the number of people with AF is projected to increase by up to 70%1
Brussels, Belgium – 19 November, 2018 – Biosense Webster EMEA, a Division of Johnson & Johnson Medical NV/SA and leader in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) has today, during AF Association Global AF Aware Week, published a report that uncovers the growing burden of AF on patients, caregivers and healthcare systems across Europe.
The new report is calling for greater awareness and emphasis on the scale and impact of AF which is fast becoming one of the world’s most significant health issues. The new millennium epidemic not only disrupts the quality of life for the 11 million people across Europe who suffer from AF, but also costs healthcare systems up to €3,286 million annually across European countries.2-7
AF is characterized by an irregular and often fast heart rhythm that results in uncoordinated contraction of the top two chambers of the heart. The irregular heart rhythm may cause blood clots, as blood can pool in the heart before being pumped into the brain causing an AF related stroke, a particularly debilitating form of stroke. AF is typically a progressive disease, with 1 in 5 patients progressing from paroxysmal (intermittent) AF to persistent (constant) AF in 1 year.8-10
The report highlights that by 2030 the number of people with AF is projected to increase by up to 70%,1 and that by 2050 Europe will have the greatest increase in AF patients compared to other regions globally.11 Furthermore, by 2030 the number of stroke events and medical visits is expected to increase, with 280,000-340,000 new ischemic strokes, 3.5-4 million hospitalizations for AF and 100-120 million outpatient visits expected.1
“AF is the most common heart arrhythmia and can be a debilitating disease with life-threatening complications for patients and, unfortunately, is set to become even more prevalent in Europe. The lack of awareness of the burden of AF means that it is difficult to prioritize on the health agenda despite its increasing impact on healthcare systems. The report developed by Biosense Webster serves as a welcome tool that clearly outlines the critical situation and provides a good starting point for us in the cardiology community to renew the focus on AF,” said Professor Gerhard Hindricks, Heart Center Leipzig, University of Leipzig,
“We welcome this new report which brings a much-needed focus on the burden of AF for patients and their families.We also know these prevalence figures are likely to be under-estimates of the scale of the problem, since almost 4 million people are living with undiagnosed AF. We are working towards ways to improve earlier diagnosis as this leads to better management and outcomes for AF patients and less need for high cost emergency care”, commented Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO, Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association.
‘’Supporting loved ones and family members with AF can have a significant impact on the lives of the caregivers, who make sacrifices and devote their time and energy at the expense of their own lives and are therefore at high risk of stress. By building a full picture of the impact of AF both on patients and caregivers we will be able to concentrate our efforts and work towards helping to alleviate this burden, experienced by millions across Europe,” added Lobban.
“For over 20 years Biosense Webster has pioneered the development of AF ablation treatments and through partnering with clinicians have been able to heal the hearts of thousands of patients” explains Gabriele Fischetto, Vice President of Johnson & Johnson Cardiovascular Specialty Solutions in EMEA. “However, AF is becoming increasingly prevalent and we need urgent focus to understand the true burden of the disease, so we can work together to tackle it head on.”
Details on AF Association Global AF Aware Week are available at:
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies
As the world’s most comprehensive medical devices business*, we are building on a century of experience, merging science and technology, to shape the future of health and benefit even more people around the world. With our unparalleled breadth, depth and reach across surgery, orthopaedics and interventional solutions, we’re working to profoundly change the way care is delivered. We are in this for life. For more information, visit .
About Biosense Webster
Biosense Webster, Inc., part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, is a global leader in the science of diagnosing and treating heart rhythm disorders. The company partners with clinicians to develop innovative technologies that improve the quality of care for arrhythmia patients worldwide. For more information, visit .
*Comprising the surgery, orthopaedics, and interventional solutions businesses within the Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices segment
- Zoni-Berisso M, Lercari F, Carazza T, Domenicucci S (2014) Epidemiology of atrial fibrillation: European perspective. Clin Epidemiol 6 213-220.
- McBride D, Mattenklotz AM, Willich SN, Bruggenjurgen B (2009) The costs of care in atrial fibrillation and the effect of treatment modalities in Germany. Value Health 12 (2): 293-301.
- Ball J, Carrington MJ, McMurray JJ, Stewart S (2013) Atrial fibrillation: profile and burden of an evolving epidemic in the 21st century. Int J Cardiol 167 (5): 1807-1824.
- Cotte FE, Chaize G, Gaudin AF, Samson A, Vainchtock A et al. (2016) Burden of stroke and other cardiovascular complications in patients with atrial fibrillation hospitalized in France. Europace 18 (4): 501-507.
- Stewart S, Murphy NF, Walker A, McGuire A, McMurray JJ (2004) Cost of an emerging epidemic: an economic analysis of atrial fibrillation in the UK. Heart 90 (3): 286-292.
- Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network (2016) Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 (GBD 2016) Results. Seattle, United States: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 2017. Accessed 2018-04-20. Available from .
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- Nieuwlaat R, Prins MH, Le Heuzey JY, Vardas PE, Aliot E et al. (2008) Prognosis, disease progression, and treatment of atrial fibrillation patients during 1 year: follow-up of the Euro Heart Survey on atrial fibrillation. Eur Heart J 29 (9): 1181-1189.
- de Vos CB, Pisters R, Nieuwlaat R, Prins MH, Tieleman RG et al. (2010) Progression from paroxysmal to persistent atrial fibrillation clinical correlates and prognosis. J Am Coll Cardiol 55 (8): 725-731.
- Schnabel R, Pecen L, Engler D, Lucerna M, Sellal JM et al. (2018) Atrial fibrillation patterns are associated with arrhythmia progression and clinical outcomes. Heart
- Rahman F, Kwan GF, Benjamin EJ (2014) Global epidemiology of atrial fibrillation. Nat Rev Cardiol 11 (11): 639-654.
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