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Revista Colombiana de Cardiología

Print version ISSN 0120-5633


MORA-LLABATA, Vicente et al. Prevalence of atrial fibrillation and features of non-valvular atrial fibrillation in general population. Rev. Colomb. Cardiol. [online]. 2017, vol.24, n.1, pp.26-33. ISSN 0120-5633.

Background and objectives:

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of constant arrhythmia. The study aims to know the prevalence of atrial fibrillation in the general population and to assess the features and management of non-valvular atrial fibrillation.


Cross-sectional exploratory study of a population sample from a Health department (n=30.024) of individuals over 18 years with electrocardiographic diagnosis of atrial fibrillation in the primary care electronic medical records. Clinical features, management and treatments are analyzed.


Out of a total of 629 patients with an atrial fibrillation diagnosis, which represents a 2.1% prevalence (8.06% in >65 years), 505 cases with non-valvular atrial fibrillation were

selected for the study. Average age was 77.4 ± 10 years, 55% female patients. Structural heart disease was detected in 32% of the cases, and cardiac failure in 29.5% of the cases. 72% of the patients were receiving anticoagulation therapy, 60% with antivitamin K drugs and 12% with direct anticoagulants. Among the former group, only 53% kept a time within the therapeutic range ≥65% according to the Rosendaal method. The most frequent presentation was persistentpermanent (60.8%), followed by paroxysmal (39.2%).


Prevalence of atrial fibrillation was 2.1%, increasing with age, with a high proportion of accompanying heart disease. The proportion of anticoagulated patients and the quality of anticoagulation were poor, thus revealing the need for improved monitoring and wider use of new direct anticoagulants in the indicated cases.

Keywords : Atrial fibrillation; Epidemiology; Antiarrhythmia agents; Anticoagulation; Primary care.

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