Objective: To know the current prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in China and contribute to further Chinese studies on AF in future.
Methods: We chose 14 natural populations from 14 different provinces across China. Using international standardized methods, we performed an epidemical study which was mainly on AF.
Results: The crude rate of prevalence of AF in China is 0.77%, which would be 0.61% after being standardized. Also, it is increasing with aging. The prevalence is higher in men than in women (0.9% vs 0.7%, P = 0.013). Among all the AF cases, valvular, nonvalvular, and lone AF were 12.9%, 65.2%, and 21.9% respectively. Ischemic stroke was the most frequent type seen among AF cases and the stroke rate among cases with AF was significantly higher than that without (12.1% vs 2.1%, P < 0.01).
Conclusions: The prevalence of AF in China, whether classified by age, gender or cause, is similar to the results from other countries, especially North America and Europe. The incidence of stroke among AF cases is rather high in China. However, patients with AF would not like to take the necessary medicine. Therefore it is advisable to enforce the control of AF. We will continue to do the follow-up in these populations.