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National Stroke Foundation: Atrial fibrillation costs Australia $1.2 billion per year

24 June 2010

From the National Stroke Foundation of Australia media release:

The common heart rhythm disorder, atrial fibrillation (AF), which causes one in six strokes, costs the  health system in Australia more than $1.2 billion a year, according to a new report launched today by the National Stroke Foundation.

The report, ‘The Economic Costs of Atrial Fibrillation in Australia’, calls for more research and better management of the commonly undiagnosed condition, reducing strokes and heart failure. Around two-thirds of the $1.2 billion costs on the health system are caused by AF related strokes, heart failure and premature death.

Conservative estimates show 240,000 Australians have AF (1 to 2 per cent of the population) and more than half are over the age of 75. However, AF frequently goes unnoticed and studies estimate that 30 per cent of AF cases are only diagnosed after a person is hospitalised.

“The growing burden of atrial fibrillation in Australia is significant. With an ageing population we need to better understand the true extent of the condition and focus on better management guidelines for doctors,” Neurologist and National Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr Crimmins said.

“Increased understanding of the symptoms and early diagnosis will also help save lives. Atrial fibrillation is one of the most challenging cardiovascular diseases to diagnose and treat,” Dr Crimmins said.

To learn more, visit the National Stroke Foundation website.

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2 Comments leave one →
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