Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a cardiac arrythmia that when undiagnosed and untreated leads to a fivefold increase in risk of ischaemic stroke. AF can be either paroxysmal or permanent and symptomatic or asymptomatic. Appropriate prescription of anticoagulant medication can reduce stroke risk by around 2/3rds and in the UK AF is widely managed in general practice. Therefore, there is current interest in developing a screening programme for AF based in primary care.
Anonymised data from GP records held within CPRD (Clinical practice research datalink) will be used to;
- investigate the effectiveness of previous methods of single time point screening for AF , in particular pulse checking at routine influenza vaccination.
- describe the changing patterns of anticoagulation for AF in the UK over the last 10 years.
Data from the feasibility study of the SAFER programme (https://www.safer.phpc.cam.ac.uk/) will be used to investigate the optimum frequency and pattern of 30 second AF screening using a handheld electronic device.
Systematic reviews of the prognosis of asymptomatic atrial fibrillation as an indication of the prognosis of screen detected AF and of methods of screening for paroxysmal AF (single time point/intermittent/continuous) will be completed.
Screening for atrial fibrillation by pulse check at the time of influenza vaccination; an electronic record cohort study of 720,942 patients. (2019) RCGP Annual Conference, Liverpool. (Poster presentation).
Screening for atrial fibrillation in primary care by pulse check at the time of influenza vaccination. Stroke Forum Abstracts 2018. (2018). International Journal of Stroke, 13(3_suppl), 10–65. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747493018801108 (Poster presentation)
Wellcome Trust – Wellcome Clinical PhD Fellowship for Primary Care
Start and End Date
January 2019-December 2023 (Part time)