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Prevalence of unknown and untreated arrhythmias in an older outpatient population screened by wireless long-term recording ECG

Authors Lindberg T, Bohman D, Elmstahl S, Jogréus C, Sanmartin Berglund J

Received 14 April 2016

Accepted for publication 21 June 2016

Published 10 August 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1083—1090


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Terese Lindberg,1,2 Doris M Bohman,1 Sölve Elmståhl,2 Claes Jogréus,1 Johan Sanmartin Berglund1

1Department of Health, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, 2Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Purpose: With longer life expectancies, the prevalence of arrhythmias is increasing; thus, there is a need for new methods to screen the older outpatient population. This population-based study describes the prevalence of arrhythmias in 200 outpatients aged ≥66 years. We also investigated the feasibility of wireless long-term recording (LTR) using the ECG-BodyKom®.
Methods: Two hundred elderly persons aged 66–93 years were recruited from the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in 2010–2013, and data were collected via wireless LTR ECG-BodyKom.
Results: Screening with the LTR ECG revealed that persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) occurred in 10% of the outpatient population aged ≥66 years. Paroxysmal AF occurred in 5.5% of the population, with no difference between younger (60–80 years) and older (>80 years) elderly participants. Furthermore, all patients with paroxysmal AF had a CHA2DS2VASc score of ≥2 and were therefore potential candidates for follow-up and medical examination. LTR ECG-BodyKom can be considered a feasible method to screen for arrhythmias in older outpatient populations. This simple method requires little of the user, and there was high satisfaction with the equipment and a good overall experience wearing it.
Conclusion: The increasing occurrence of arrhythmias in the older population, as well as the high number of untreated cases of arrhythmias such as persistent AF and paroxysmal AF, poses a challenge for health care. Therefore, it is essential to develop effective strategies for their prevention and treatment.

Keywords: arrhythmia, older people, prevalence, wireless long-term ECG

Corrigendum for this paper has been published.  

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