|Title:||SAFER – Screening for Atrial Fibrillation|
|Project Description:||A collaboration of several Universities led by Cambridge has won a £3m research award from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to lead a new programme investigating screening to detect undiagnosed atrial fibrillation, a heart condition responsible for one in ten strokes.
The research, the largest study of its kind, aims to find out if screening for atrial fibrillation in people aged 65 and over can prevent stroke and other problems that cause early deaths like heart attacks, and whether screening represents good value for money for the NHS.
Atrial fibrillation, the most common disturbance of the heart rhythm, is characterised by an irregular pulse. It affects up to 10 in 100 people over the age of 65, a considerable proportion of whom do not know they have the condition. Atrial fibrillation may not be associated with any symptoms, but is linked to increased risk of stroke, heart attack, dementia and premature death. About 10% of strokes happen in people unaware that they have atrial fibrillation. However, therapy with medication (anticoagulation) is highly effective at reducing the risk.
At present, some GPs look for atrial fibrillation opportunistically by using a diagnostic device such as a hand-held electrocardiogram (ECG) or simply take the pulse of patients who could be visiting for any reason. However, this is not done in a systematic way, and only in some general practices.
This new research comprises the world’s largest randomised controlled trial to discover whether screening systematically for atrial fibrillation and offering optimal treatment reduces the incidence of stroke, premature death and other health risks associated with atrial fibrillation. The programme of research will include a cost effectiveness analysis to assess whether screening is a good use of NHS resources. Researchers will also observe what goes on in general practices when screening is carried out and interview staff and patients to explore issues around consent to screening and patient concerns.
More information for patients and practices at the programme website : https://www.safer.phpc.cam.ac.uk
|Principal Investigator:||Professor Jonathan Mant|
|Start date:||1st October 2018|
|End date:||30th September 2026|
|Contact person:||Dr Kate Williams|
|Contact Details:||Primary Care Unit
Strangeways Research Laboratory
Telephone: (01223) 763491
Fax: (01223) 763492
|Collaborative:||Cambridge: Prof Simon Griffin, Dr Jenni Burt, Prof Stephen Sutton, Dr Ed Wilson, Dr Michael Sweeting
Oxford: Prof Richard Hobbs, Prof Richard McManus, Dr Emma Ogburn
Warwick: Prof David Fitzmaurice
Imperial College London: Prof Martin Cowie
Birmingham: Prof Gregory Lip
Bristol: Dr Rachel Johnson
Leicester: Prof Natalie Armstrong
Atrial Fibrillation Association: Trudie Lobban
|Funding Organisation:||National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grant for Applied Research (PGfAR)|
|Funding Amount:||£3 million|