Atrial fibrillation prevalence, awareness and management in a nationwide survey of adults in China

Xin Du, Lizhu Guo, Shijun Xia, Jing Du, Craig Anderson, Hisatomi Arima, Mark Huffman, Yiqiang Yuan, Yang Zheng, Shulin Wu, Xuefeng Guang, Xianhui Zhou, Hongbo Lin, Xiaoshu Cheng, Jianzeng Dong, Changsheng Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Objective To determine AF prevalence and gaps in atrial fibrillation (AF) awareness and management in China. Methods We conducted a community-based survey of 47 841 adults (age ≥45 years) in seven geographic regions of China between 2014 and 2016. Participants underwent a structured questionnaire, a standard 12-lead ECG, physical examination and blood sampling. AF prevalence, defined by either ECG detection or self-report, was estimated according to sampling weights, non-response and age and sex distribution of the population. We used multivariable logistic regression to estimate associations among sociodemographic, clinical and geographic factors with the AF prevalence, awareness and treatment. Results The weighted AF prevalence was 1.8% (95% CI 1.7% to 1.9%), but varied from 0.9% to 2.4% across geographical regions and equates to being present in an estimated 7.9 (95% CI 7.4 to 8.4) million people in China. Among men and women, the AF prevalence increased from 0.8% and 0.6% in the age group 45-54 years to 5.4% and 4.9% in the age group ≥75 years, respectively. Proportions of people who were aware of having AF decreased overall from 65.3% in 45-54 year-olds to 53.9% in ≥75 year-olds and varied between sex (men 58.5%, women 68.8%) and residency status (urban 78.3%, rural 35.3%). Only 6.0% of patients with high-risk AF received anticoagulation therapy. Conclusions AF prevalence is higher than previously reported in China, with low awareness and large treatment gaps. Large-scale efforts are urgently needed to reduce AF adverse consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-541
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • atrial fibrillation
  • epidemiology


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