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Symptoms of AF

Atrial Fibrillation is associated with various symptoms that range in severity from mild to debilitating and negatively impact the daily life of patients.1,2,3 The frequency and severity of symptoms varies greatly from patient to patient and symptoms can fluctuate widely over time within a patient.4 15–30% of patients have ‘silent AF’ where they do not experience any symptoms and may be at a greater risk of complications and disease severity due to a lack of treatment.4,8,9 AF represents a major therapeutic challenge and burden to healthcare systems.4

atrial fibrillation symptoms

Most commonly reported symptoms of AF

The symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AF or AFib) range from mild to debilitating in severity,1,2,3 the most commonly reported ones are heart palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, malaise, dizziness, anxiety and chest pain.4,5,6 The frequency and severity of these symptoms varies greatly from patient to patient and symptoms can fluctuate widely over time within a patient.4

atrial fibrillation diagnosis

Therapeutic challenge

The symptoms can disrupt daily life and are the main reason why patients seek medical advice.4  AF and its related symptoms are a major therapeutic challenge and pose a burden to healthcare systems.4 2/3 of emergency room visits for symptoms leading to AF diagnosis result in hospital admissions.4

silent atrial fibrillation

Silent AF

It is important to recognise that 15–30% of individuals do not experience any symptoms and is commonly known as ‘silent AF’.4,8 Patients with ‘silent AF’ experience poorer general health and quality of life than healthy individuals and may be at a greater risk of complications and disease severity due to a lack of treatment.4,8,9

european heart rhythm association scale

​​​​​​References

1. Nazli C, Kahya Eren N, Yakar Tuluce S, Kocagra Yagiz IG, Kilicaslan B et al. (2016) Impaired quality of life in patients with intermittent atrial fibrillation. Anatol J Cardiol 16 (4): 250-255. 2. Rho RW, Page RL (2005) Asymptomatic atrial fibrillation. Prog Cardiovasc Dis 48 (2): 79-87. 3. Guerra F, Brambatti M, Nieuwlaat R, Marcucci M, Dudink E et al. (2017) Symptomatic atrial fibrillation and risk of cardiovascular events: data from the Euro Heart Survey. Europace 19 (12): 1922-1929. 4. Rienstra M, Lubitz SA, Mahida S, Magnani JW, Fontes JD et al. (2012) Symptoms and functional status of patients with atrial fibrillation: state of the art and future research opportunities. 5. Zoni-Berisso M, Lercari F, Carazza T, Domenicucci S (2014) Epidemiology of atrial fibrillation: European perspective. Clin Epidemiol 6 213-220. 6. Lip GY, Laroche C, Ioachim PM, Rasmussen LH, Vitali-Serdoz L et al. (2014) Prognosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation patients by European cardiologists: one year follow-up of the EURObservational Research Programme-Atrial Fibrillation General Registry Pilot Phase (EORP-AF Pilot registry). Eur Heart J 35 (47): 3365-3376. 7. Van Gelder I C, Hemels M EW (2006) The progressive nature of atrial fibrillation: a rationale for early restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm Europace  8, 943–949. 8. Boriani G, Laroche C, Diemberger I, Fantecchi E, Popescu MI et al. (2015) Asymptomatic atrial fibrillation: clinical correlates, management, and outcomes in the EORP-AF Pilot General Registry. Am J Med 128 (5): 509-518 e502 9. Savelieva I, Paquette M, Dorian P, Luderitz B, Camm AJ (2001) Quality of life in patients with silent atrial fibrillation. Heart 85 (2): 216-217.

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