The Prevalence of Atrial Fibrillation in the Iranian Population in a 15-Year Cohort Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Cardiac Rehabilitation Research Center, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran.

2 Heart Failure Research Center, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran.

3 Institute of Population Health Sciences, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom.

4 Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran.


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, with a significant rise in prevalence during recent decades. Considering its remarkable morbidity and mortality rates, AF has become a significant concern worldwide. To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess the prevalence of AF in Iran.
Methods: The current cross-sectional study is a part of the Isfahan Cohort Study (ICS), which has evaluated 6504 adults aged over 35 years and followed them up since 2001. An echocardiogram was taken from all the participants and interpreted by 2 skilled residents of cardiology. AF diagnosis was made based on the ICD-10-CM codes (I480-I484, I489), and its prevalence was determined.
Results: Thirteen out of 6504 study participants (prevalence=0.19%) at a mean age of 61.8± 9.5 years were diagnosed with AF. AF was slightly predominant among males (53.8% vs 46.2%). Diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease, and peripheral vascular disease were present in 1 (7.7%), 2 (15.4%), and 1 (7.7%) cases with AF, respectively.
Conclusions: The remarkably low rate of AF in this study compared with other investigations may be due to the lower age of the assessed population, less alcohol consumption in Iranian society, and failure to find cases with paroxysmal and transient AF. (Iranian Heart Journal 2022; 23(2): 53-60)


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