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November 2012 Br J Cardiol 2012;19:173–7 doi:10.5837/bjc.2012.031

Trends in atrial fibrillation hospitalisation in Scotland: an increasing cost burden

Martin Keech, Yogesh Punekar, Anna-Maria Choy

Abstract

Introduction Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia found in clinical practice with increased prevalence in the ageing population.1 It affects 5% of those aged over 65 years and 10% of those aged over 80 years.2 Its prevalence is increasing primarily for two reasons; an increase in the ageing population and advances in medical care leading to survival from underlying conditions closely associated with AF, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and cardiac failure.3 It has been described as epidemic in proportion since some researchers have predicted its prevalence will triple by 2050.4 AF can cause significant m

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