Biosense Webster AFib Survey Findings Reveal Surprising Patient Behaviors and At-Risk Population Awareness Gaps

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Findings reveal AFib patients are fearful of complications from the condition, but not all are treating their AFib quicky after diagnosis

IRVINE, CA – SEPTEMBER 13, 2022 – In recognition of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Awareness Month, Biosense Webster, Inc., part of Johnson & Johnson MedTechi, today released findings from an AFib PulseCheck Survey that reveals AFib patient behaviors and their understanding of AFib treatment options. It also sheds light on how the AFib at-risk population (adults 55+) understands AFib symptoms and disease progression. 

AFib is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia and impacts nearly 40 million people worldwide1, and 6 million people in the U.S. alone2. The U.S. cases are expected to increase to 16 million by 20503. Today, about 1 in 4 adults over the age of 40 are at risk for developing AFib4. Despite these projections, many people are unfamiliar with AFib symptoms, available treatment options and the importance of early treatment to avoid disease progression. 

The PulseCheck Survey explored awareness and understanding of AFib among two groups of U.S. adults. The first included AFib patients 18 years and older, to understand the specific behaviors connected to living with AFib among the diagnosed population. The second surveyed adults 55 and older, those defined as possible at-risk due to their age alone, to gauge their understanding of AFib awareness. 

Among adults diagnosed with AFib, survey responses revealed that more than a quarter live with fears and anxiety about the progressive nature of the disease, but in many cases lack a sense of urgency to treat following their initial AFib diagnosis. In fact, responses revealed: 

  • One-third are fearful of having a stroke, heart failure or blood clot. However, a quarter of patients did not get their AFib treated immediately after diagnosis, and 44% of patients have ended up in the emergency room due to their AFib. 
  • AFib patients feel they are informed of their treatment options (91%) and most (80%) say their doctor has discussed these options with them. Almost all are aware of blood thinners (99%) and medications (95%), and a majority are aware of lifestyle changes (82%). However, only slightly more than half are aware of catheter ablation (57%) and cardioversion (55%) procedures.

The survey revealed adults 55 years and older have a general awareness of AFib, though it’s not top of mind when they visit the doctor themselves. Insights include:  

  • More than half (57%) responded they are aware of AFib with a third revealing they know someone who has been diagnosed. A fifth said they are a caregiver to someone with AFib.
  • After being shown a description of risk factors and symptoms of AFib, 58% of adults 55+ considered themselves to be at risk.
  • Even though half of adults believe they may be at risk for developing AFib, only a fifth (18%) say their doctor has discussed AFib with them, and only 10% have ever proactively spoken to their doctor about it. Two-fifths of adults 55+ say they never thought to ask their doctor about AFib (41%) and didn’t think their doctor considered them to be at risk (40%).

After an AFib diagnosis, there are multiple treatment options available to patients. Medication is often the first step. If medication is not effective in treating AFib, the cardiologist will often refer patients to an electrophysiologist (EP) who will suggest other treatment options, such as catheter ablation. 

“Once an AFib patient is referred to an EP, we work together with their physician or cardiologist to discuss their current patient pathway,” said Dr. Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, electrophysiologist and the medical director for the Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute at HCA Midwest Health. “Once it is determined that medications aren’t an effective form of treatment, we discuss other options such as catheter ablation to help the patient return to their life before AFib.”

Catheter ablation is a safe and effective procedure to restore the heart’s incorrect electrical signals, which causes abnormal heart rhythm5. Quality of life has been shown to improve after catheter ablation compared to drug treatment for AFib6. Among patients with symptomatic AFib, catheter ablation, compared with medical therapy, led to clinically important and significant improvements in quality of life at 12 months.5 In addition to potentially improving well-being, the procedure can reduce several life-threatening conditions associated with AFib, including stroke. These findings can help guide decisions regarding management of AFib.

To learn more about atrial fibrillation, visit

Media Contacts: 
Diane Pressman
[email protected]

Charlene DeBar
[email protected]

IR Contact:
Sarah Wood
[email protected]

Survey Methodology
TRUE Global Intelligence, the in-house research practice of FleishmanHillard, fielded an online survey among n=101 AFib patients 18 years of age and older as well as n=1,000 general public adults 55 years of age and older in the U.S. from January 19–February 1, 2022.

About Biosense Webster 
Biosense Webster is the global market leader in the science and technology behind the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. Part of the Johnson & Johnson MedTech Family of Companies, the specialized medical-technology company is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and works across the world to advance the tools and solutions that help electrophysiologists identify, treat, and deliver care. Learn more at and connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Johnson & Johnson MedTech 
At Johnson & Johnson MedTech, we unleash diverse healthcare expertise, purposeful technology, and a passion for people to transform the future of medical intervention and empower everyone to live their best life possible. For more than a century, we have driven breakthrough scientific innovation to address unmet needs and reimagine health. In surgery, orthopaedics, vision, and interventional solutions, we continue to help save lives and create a future where healthcare solutions are smarter, less invasive, and more personalized. For more information, visit

Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Biosense Webster, Inc. any of the other Johnson & Johnson MedTech companies and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: uncertainty of regulatory approvals; uncertainty of commercial success; challenges to patents; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; manufacturing difficulties and delays; product efficacy or safety concerns resulting in product recalls or regulatory action; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; changes in behavior and spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2022, including in the sections captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and in the company’s most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and the company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at, or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Neither the Johnson & Johnson MedTech nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.

THERMOCOOL® Navigation Catheters are indicated for the treatment of drug refractory recurrent symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, when used with CARTO® 3 Systems (excluding NAVISTAR™ RMT THERMOCOOL™ Catheter).

  1. Johnson & Johnson MedTech comprises the surgery, orthopaedics, vision and interventional solutions businesses within Johnson & Johnson’s MedTech segment.


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