The State of the Art: Atrial Fibrillation Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment

Mayo Clin Proc. 2016 Dec;91(12):1778-1810. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.08.022. Epub 2016 Nov 5.


As the most common sustained arrhythmia in adults, atrial fibrillation (AF) is an established and growing epidemic. To provide optimal patient care, it is important for clinicians to be aware of AF's epidemiological trends, methods of risk reduction, and the various available treatment modalities. Our understanding of AF's pathophysiology has advanced, and with this new understanding has come advancements in prevention strategies as well as pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatment options. Following PubMed and MEDLINE searches for AF risk factors, epidemiology, and therapies, we reviewed relevant articles (and bibliographies of those articles) published from 2000 to 2016. This "state-of-the-art" review provides a comprehensive update on the understanding of AF in the world today, contemporary therapeutic options, and directions of ongoing and future study.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / prevention & control
  • Atrial Fibrillation / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal
  • Electrocardiography
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged


  • Anticoagulants