Source: USPSTF. Screening for atrial fibrillation: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft recommendation statement. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/draft-recommendation/screening-atrial-fibrillation. Accessed April 20, 2021.
Disclosures: Ogedegbe reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the draft evidence review and draft recommendation statement for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
April 20, 2021
1 min read
Save

USPSTF: Not enough evidence to provide atrial fibrillation screening recommendation

Source: USPSTF. Screening for atrial fibrillation: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft recommendation statement. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/draft-recommendation/screening-atrial-fibrillation. Accessed April 20, 2021.
Disclosures: Ogedegbe reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the draft evidence review and draft recommendation statement for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force announced there is insufficient evidence to make a recommendation on screening asymptomatic patients aged 50 years and older for atrial fibrillation.

Patients with atrial fibrillation have a five-fold increased risk for ischemic stroke, according to the USPSTF. In addition, the American Heart Association says atrial fibrillation can lead to heart failure and other heart-related complications.

 “We are calling for more research on this important topic in the hope that we will be able to make a strong, evidence-based recommendation in the future." The source of the quote is: Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH.

“It is important to remember that task force recommendations apply to people with no signs or symptoms of the condition in question,” Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH, a task force member and director of the Center for Healthful Behavior Change at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, told Healio Primary Care. “We are calling for more research on this important topic in the hope that we will be able to make a strong, evidence-based recommendation in the future.”

According to Ogedegbe and the evidence review authors, more studies are needed to juxtapose the benefits and harms of screening for atrial fibrillation against usual care and to assess early atrial fibrillation treatment benefits as well as early rate and rhythm control in screen-detected, asymptomatic persons. Until then, Ogedegbe said physicians may find prior USPSTF recommendations regarding behavioral counseling to promote a healthy lifestyle in adults with CVD risk factors and hypertension screening in adults useful.

“It is important to note that the task force considers taking someone’s pulse during a routine medical visit as part of usual care. If an unusual heartbeat is detected, clinicians can often use an electrocardiogram to help make a diagnosis,” Ogedegbe said. “As always, we advise clinicians to use their medical judgement on both whether or not to screen and how to screen for atrial fibrillation.”

The public can comment on the draft recommendation on the USPSTF’s website through May 17.

References

American Heart Association. What is atrial fibrillation (or Afib or AF)? https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/atrial-fibrillation/what-is-atrial-fibrillation-afib-or-af#. Accessed April 16, 2021.

Kahwati L, et al. Screening for atrial fibrillation: An evidence review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/document/draft-evidence-review/screening-atrial-fibrillation. Accessed April 20, 2021.

USPSTF. Screening for atrial fibrillation: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft recommendation statement. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/draft-recommendation/screening-atrial-fibrillation. Accessed April 20, 2021.