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Using limb-lead ECGs to investigate asymptomatic atrial fibrillation in primary care

June 2014 Br J Cardiol 2014;21:64–8 doi:10.5837/bjc.2014.015

Using limb-lead ECGs to investigate asymptomatic atrial fibrillation in primary care

Wasim Javed, Matthew Fay, Mark Hashemi, Steven Lindsay, Melanie Thorpe, David Fitzmaurice 

Abstract

Introduction Screening has been proposed as a method to detect patients with undiagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF) as it is a dangerous, prevalent condition that may be easily diagnosed with a simple low-cost test, an electrocardiogram (ECG), and the risk of serious sequelae such as ischaemic stroke can be effectively reduced with anticoagulation.1 Hence, it fulfils the Wilson Jungner criteria for a screening programme.2 The potential benefits of AF screening are far reaching, as reducing stroke prevalence has massive implications for both patients and health services in the UK, where stroke consumes approximately 5% of total National Health S

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