Prevalence and Incidence of Atrial Fibrillation and Other Arrhythmias in the General Older Population: Findings From the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care

The goal was to study the occurrence and new cases of arrhythmias in older individuals aged 60 years and older over 6 years. Four population-based studies: the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Skåne (SNAC-S), Blekinge (SNAC-B), Kungsholmen (SNAC-K), and Nordanstig (SNAC-B) were used to investigate this (n=8462).

Arrhythmias rapidly increase with advancing age in the general population
In the total population, the occurrence of arrythmia was 5% and the incidence (new cases) was 4%. Arrythmia occurrence was associated with age since it was 3% in those aged 60 to 66 years, 6% in those from 72 to 78 years, and 7% in those aged 81, 84, and 87 years. The same age-trend was found for the 6-year incidence of arrythmia. The findings of this study contribute to the knowledge on an increasing arrhythmia occurrence in the older population and highlights the high number of untreated cases of AF, which pose great health care challenges.


Photo of Terese Lindberg, first author of the study.

Reference: Lindberg T, Wimo A, Elmståhl S, Qiu C, Bohman DM, Sanmartin Berglund J. Prevalence and incidence of atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias in the general older population: Findings from the swedish national study on aging and care. Gerontol Geriatr Med. 2019;5:2333721419859687. doi: 10.1177/2333721419859687.