What is the current burden of atrial fibrillation in BC and Alberta?

Date posted: 
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. AF currently affects approximately 350,000 Canadians, according the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Data access has been approved for a provincial health-system embedded program to comprehensively assess AF across British Columbia and Alberta using linked administrative data. The aim is to examine oral anticoagulation and healthcare utilization in terms of appropriateness, variance, associated outcomes and future projections. The focus will be high risk groups, to direct limited resources to patients with the greatest need, and assist the planning of future services.

The project is being led by Dr. Nathaniel Hawkins, Clinical Assistant Professor, at the University of British Columbia’s Division of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery.

“The contemporary epidemiology of atrial fibrillation (AF) is not well defined and many knowledge gaps exist in understanding health care utilization, comorbidities, and the use and treatment benefits of anticoagulants among AF patients,” says Dr. Hawkins. “The goal of this project is to perform a large, population-based review to comprehensively assess the current burden of atrial fibrillation, prescription patterns, and real-world outcomes of patients with atrial fibrillation.”

The results of this study, funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and UBC Cardiology, will inform future studies designed to decrease atrial fibrillation burden, and improve quality of care for patients with atrial fibrillation in British Columbia and Alberta.

For the project PopData will link four data sets from the BC Ministry of Health with data sets from the BC Vital Statistics Agency, Cardiac Services BC and the Provincial Blood Coordinating Office Transfusion Registry.

Page last revised: May 1, 2019