Most data on the clinical epidemiology of atrial fibrillation (AF) are reported from Western populations, and data for Asians are limited. We aimed to investigate the 10-year trends of the prevalence and incidence of non-valvular AF and provide prevalence projections till 2060 in Korea. We also investigated the annual risks of adverse outcomes among patients with AF.Methods
Using the Korean National Health Insurance Service database involving the entire Korean population, a total of 679,416 adults with newly diagnosed AF were identified from 2006 to 2015. The incidence and prevalence of AF and risk of adverse outcomes following AF onset were assessed.Results
The prevalence of AF progressively increased by 2.10-fold from 0.73% in 2006 to 1.53% in 2015. The trend of its incidence was flat with a 10-year overall incidence of 1.77 per 1,000 person-years. The prevalence of AF is expected to reach 5.81% (2,290,591 patients with AF) in 2060. For a decade, the risk of all-cause mortality following AF declined by 30% (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 0.70, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.68–0.72), heart failure by 52% (adjusted HR: 0.48, 95% CI: 0.44–0.51), and ischemic stroke by 9% (adjusted HR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.88–0.93).Conclusions
The burden of AF among Asian patients is increasing. Although the overall risks of cardiovascular events and death following AF onset have decreased over a decade, the event rates are still high. Optimized management of any associated comorbidities should be part of the holistic management approach for patients with AF.