Epidemiology of atrial fibrillation

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The incidence and prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) increase progressively with age, and approximately 50% of patients with AF are 75 years of age or older. Advanced age is also a potent risk factor for stroke in patients with AF, and the proportion of strokes attributable to AF increases exponentially with age. In addition, AF contributes incrementally to health care utilization and costs, and decrementally to survival and quality of life in older adults. Furthermore, the societal impact of AF will likely double over the next three decades due to the aging of the population. For these reasons, it is essential to develop more effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of AF in older individuals.

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