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Opportunistic screening doesn’t find more AF cases

Reuters Health - 25/09/2020 - Opportunistic screening of primary-care patients 65 and older for atrial fibrillation (AF) does not increase detection, according to new findings. "Future research on screening for atrial fibrillation should focus on the selection of patients with the highest risk of having or developing undetected atrial fibrillation and the role of repeated or prolonged monitoring," Dr. Steven B. Uittenbogaart of the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands and colleagues conclude in The BMJ. The Screening for Atrial Fibrillation in the Elderly (SAFE) trial, published in 2007, found that opportunistic screening by pulse palpation detected more AF cases than usual care, the authors note. However, the findings haven't been replicated in randomized trials, they add, and it's unclear whether increased detection affects clinical endpoints including stroke and death. In the new Detecting and Diagnosing Atrial Fibrillation (D2AF) study, Dr. Uittenbo...

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