Estimates of Current and Future Incidence and Prevalence of Atrial Fibrillation in the U.S. Adult Population

Study Questions:

What is the estimated and projected incidence and prevalence of diagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF) in the United States out to 2030?


A large health insurance claims database for the years 2001-2008, representing a geographically diverse 5% of the US population, was used in this study. The trend and growth rate in AF incidence and prevalence was projected by a dynamic age-period cohort simulation progression model that included all diagnosed AF cases in future prevalence projections regardless of follow-up treatment, as well as those cases expected to be chronic in nature.


Results from the model showed that AF incidence will double, from 1.2 million cases in 2010 to 2.6 million cases in 2030. Given this increase in incidence, AF prevalence is projected to increase from 5.2 million cases in 2010 to 12.1 million cases in 2030. The effect of uncertainty in model parameters was explored in deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. Variability in future trends in AF incidence and recurrence rates has the greatest impact on the projected estimates of chronic AF prevalence.


The authors concluded that both incidence and prevalence of AF are likely to rise from 2010 to 2030, but there exists a wide range of uncertainty around the magnitude of future trends.


This study used the largest and most geographically diverse US population sample to estimate current and future AF incidence and prevalence. Assuming the 2000 US Census population projections and that relative survival in AF patients remains the same over time, a logarithmic growth model projected that there will be 12.1 million diagnosed cases of AF in 2030, with an annual growth rate of 4.3% for AF prevalence and 4.6% for AF incidence over the period of 2010-2030. The analysis indicates that the public health burden of AF may reach concerning levels by 2030, and additional research is needed to investigate what factors may be contributing to this increasing trend in AF incidence and prevalence and possible means to mitigate them.

Keywords: Follow-Up Studies, Insurance, Age Distribution, Incidence, Prevalence, Recurrence, Censuses, Cardiology, Forecasting, United States, Disease Progression

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