World Heart Federation Logo

Member login

Search    GO ›
Home // What We Do // WHF Roadmaps // Atrial Fibrillation Roadmap

Atrial Fibrillation Roadmap

Global Roadmap to tackle atrial fibrillation, the most common form of irregular heartbeat

This World Heart Federation Roadmap has been designed to tackle Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common and clinically significant form of cardiac arrhythmia.

The initiative aims to help prevent AF and to improve its management worldwide. The Roadmap comes as new figures show the number of people with AF continues to rise.

Between 1990 and 2013 the overall number of diagnosed cases globally increased from below 7m to just over 11m. The findings are likely to underestimate the true scale of AF because of the large number of people who do not know they have the condition. The morbidity burden associated with AF, as measured by disability-adjusted life years, also continues to grow. 

The AF Roadmap is part of a wider WHF Roadmap Initiative supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Action Plan Targets which aim to reduce premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 25% by 2025.  

The Roadmaps aim to reduce CVD and related conditions by providing guidance on interventions that can be adapted according to country or region. Previous Roadmaps have focused on secondary prevention, tobacco control and hypertension. 

There is strong evidence that early detection and treatment of AF can reduce morbidity and mortality. The World Heart Federation’s Roadmap for Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation identified potential roadblocks on the management of patients for Atrial Fibrillation and proposed potential solutions for overcoming the existing barriers: 

  • Improving accessibility and availability of screening for rural populations
  • Improving the affordability of oral anticoagulants (OACs)
  • Reducing dependence on highly trained medical staff for AF management
  • Improving capacity for management of OACs therapy among patients
  • Strengthening Health Information Systems