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US Emergency Room Visits For Irregular Heartbeat Rise

Update Date: Nov 17, 2014 10:39 AM EST

Emergency room visits for atrial fibrillation have soared significantly in the United States - causing major healthcare burden, suggests a new research. 

Atrial fibrillation (AF), is the most common kind of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. It can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

The prime findings of the study were:

The average AF hospital admission rate was 65 percent.

The admission rate for AF varied from 62.5 percent in 2006 to 67 percent in 2011.

The rate of AF emergency room visits steadily increased 24 percent, from 133 visits per 100,000 persons in 2006 to 165 visits per 100,000 persons in 2011.

The total admissions for AF (2006-11) was more than 2.7 million.

While AF admission rates have risen, there was a decrease in in-hospital death rates (1.18 percent in 2006 to 0.97 percent in 2011) which points to improving care of hospitalized patients.

"The huge demographic and geographic variations highlight the unmet need for interventions to decrease hospitalization rates," said Sourabh Aggarwal, M.D., study lead researcher, in the press release.

The research was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014. 

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