Ben Freedman

Ben Freedman
The University of Sydney · ANZAC Research Institute

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324
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Publications

Publications (324)
Article
Background Current Australian and European guidelines recommend opportunistic screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) among patients ≥ 65 years, but general practitioners (GPs) report time constraints as a major barrier to achieving this. Patient self-screening stations in GP waiting rooms may increase screening rates and case detection of AF, but t...
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Aims: Despite marked progress in the management of atrial fibrillation (AF), detecting AF remains difficult and AF-related complications cause unacceptable morbidity and mortality even on optimal current therapy. Methods and results: This document summarizes the key outcomes of the 8th AFNET/EHRA Consensus Conference of the Atrial Fibrillation N...
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Aims Incidence of atrial fibrillation is highly associated with age and cardiovascular comorbidities. Given this relationship, we hypothesized that the dynamic changes resulting in an increase in the CHA2DS2-VASC score over time would improve the efficiency of predicting incident atrial fibrillation on repeated screening after a negative test. Met...
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Aim We aimed to summarize existing evidence from published randomized trials that assessed atrial fibrillation screening for stroke prevention. Methods and Results We searched MEDLINE for randomized trials that enrolled patients without known atrial fibrillation, screened for atrial fibrillation using electrocardiogram-based methods and reported s...
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Objectives: Atrial fibrillation (AF) screening may increase early detection and reduce complications of AF. European, Australian and World Heart Federation guidelines recommend opportunistic screening, despite a current lack of clear evidence supporting a net benefit for systematic screening. Where screening is implemented, the most appropriate ap...
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In the present prospective study, we investigated the association between atrial fibrillation (AF) and blood pressure (BP) in an elderly Chinese population. Elderly (aged 65 years and over) residents were recruited from 6 communities in Shanghai from 2006 to 2020. 9019 participants who did not have AF at baseline had at least one ECG recording duri...
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Growing evidence suggests a consistent association between atrial fibrillation (AF) and cognitive impairment and dementia that is independent of clinical stroke. This report from the AF-SCREEN International Collaboration summarizes the evidence linking AF to cognitive impairment and dementia. It provides guidance on the investigation and management...
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Background: Alcohol consumption is a known modifiable risk factor for atrial fibrillation. The association, however, might differ according to gender. We investigated gender-specific associations between alcohol consumption and incident atrial fibrillation in an elderly Chinese population. Methods: Our study participants were elderly residents (...
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Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) screening has the potential to increase early detection and possibly reduce complications of AF. Guidelines recommend screening, but the most appropriate approaches are unknown. Purpose We aimed to explore the views of stakeholders across Europe about the opportunities and challenges of implementing four differe...
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Introduction: New-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is associated with adverse outcomes, though studies exploring the interaction between AF and the full spectrum of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) are scarce. We aim to identify predictors of new-onset AF in the setting of ACS by analyzing data from the prosp...
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Background/Introduction Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia and it is increasing in prevalence and incidence globally. True prevalence is underestimated because silent/asymptomatic AF is frequent and under-detected, but can cause stroke. Guidelines recommend opportunistic screening for AF in patients aged ≥65 ye...
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Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) screening has the potential to increase early detection and possibly reduce complications of AF. Guidelines recommend screening, but the most appropriate approaches are unknown. Purpose We aimed to explore the views of stakeholders across Europe about the opportunities and challenges of implementing four differe...
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Objective Little is known on optimal screening population for detecting new atrial fibrillation (AF) in the community. We describe characteristics and estimate cost-effectiveness for a single timepoint electrocardiographic screening. Methods We performed a 12-lead ECG in the German population-based Gutenberg Health Study between 2007 and 2012 (n=1...
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Background Screening for atrial fibrillation before onset of symptoms and the subsequent initiation of oral anticoagulants could prevent stroke and death. The most cost-effective strategy to screen for atrial fibrillation in a population at high risk aged 65 years and older is unknown. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether more frequent electr...
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Background: It is uncertain whether stroke risk of asymptomatic ambulatory atrial fibrillation (AA-AF) incidentally-detected in primary care is comparable with other clinical AF presentations in primary care or hospital. Methods: The stoke risk of 22,035 patients with incident non-valvular AF from the UK primary care Clinical Practice Research D...
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The World Heart Federation (WHF) commenced a Roadmap initiative in 2015 to reduce the global burden of cardiovascular disease and resultant burgeoning of healthcare costs. Roadmaps provide a blueprint for implementation of priority solutions for the principal cardiovascular diseases leading to death and disability. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one o...
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Our aim was to assess the prevalence of unknown atrial fibrillation (AF) among adults during single-time point rhythm screening performed during meetings or social recreational activities organized by patient groups or volunteers. A total of 2814 subjects (median age 68 years) underwent AF screening by a handheld single-lead ECG device (MyDiagnosti...
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Background Opportunistic screening for silent atrial fibrillation (AF) is recommended to reduce stroke, but screening rates are sub-optimal in general practice. We hypothesize that patient self-screening in the waiting room may improve screening and detection of AF. Methods and analyses This proof-of-concept study tests a purpose-designed AF self-...
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Background In Thailand, almost one-quarter of strokes are related to atrial fibrillation (AF), and many could be prevented if AF were diagnosed and treated prior to the stroke. Therefore, we tested a novel strategy to screen large numbers of community residents using village health volunteers and primary care nurses. Methods Local primary care nur...
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Background : Asymptomatic atrial fibrillation is often detected incidentally. Prognosis and optimal therapy for asymptomatic compared to symptomatic atrial fibrillation is uncertain. This study compares clinical characteristics, treatment, and 2-year outcomes of asymptomatic and symptomatic atrial fibrillation presentations. Methods : GARFIELD-AF...
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Clinically recognized atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with higher risk of complications, including ischemic stroke, cognitive decline, heart failure, myocardial infarction, and death. It is increasingly recognized that AF frequently is undetected until complications such as stroke or heart failure occur. Hence, the public and clinicians have...
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Atrial fibrillation (AF) and stroke are inextricably connected, with classical Virchow pathophysiology explaining thromboembolism through blood stasis in the fibrillating left atrium. This conceptualization has been reinforced by the remarkable efficacy of oral anticoagulant (OAC) for stroke prevention in AF. A number of observations showing that t...
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Aim: A variety of consumer-facing wearables, devices and apps are marketed directly to consumers to detect atrial fibrillation (AF). However, their management is not defined. Our aim was to explore their role for AF screening via a survey. Methods and results: An anonymous web-based survey was undertaken by 588 health care professionals (HCPs) (...
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BACKGROUND Internationally, most atrial fibrillation (AF) management guidelines recommend opportunistic screening for AF in people ≥65 years of age and oral anticoagulant treatment for those at high stroke risk (CHA₂DS₂‐VA≥2). However, gaps remain in screening and treatment. METHODS AND RESULTS General practitioners/nurses at practices in rural Au...
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Background The impact of cognitive status on outcomes of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is not well defined. Aims To assess the prevalence of cognitive impairment in AF patients and evaluate its association with: i) all-cause mortality; ii) a composite endpoint of death, stroke/systemic embolism, hemorrhages, acute coronary syndrome, pulmo...
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Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is underdiagnosed and especially undertreated in China. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of unknown and untreated AF in community residents (≥65 years old) and to determine whether an education intervention could improve oral anticoagulant (OAC) prescription. Methods and findings We performed a single–time...
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Background Circulatory diseases continue to be the greatest cause of mortality for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and a major cause of persistently lower life expectancy compared with non-Aboriginal Australians. The limited information that exists on atrial fibrillation (AF) prevalence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islan...
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Objectives International guidelines recommend opportunistic screening for atrial fibrillation (AF); however, there is no current data to inform how often to repeat screening. We aimed to investigate the incremental annual yield and stroke risk of new AF cases in individuals screened annually over 4 years. Design A retrospective cohort study. Sett...
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Funding Acknowledgements National Heart Foundation of Australia: CVRN Grant and Vanguard Grant; investigator-initiated grant from Pfizer-BMS; AliveCor provided free devices BACKGROUND Internationally, most atrial fibrillation (AF) management guidelines recommend screening for AF in people aged ≥65 years, as well as treatment with oral anticoagulan...
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Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) secondary to non-cardiac surgery and medical illness is common and, although often transient, is associated with an increased risk of stroke and mortality. This pilot study tested the feasibility of self-monitoring to detect recurrent AF in this setting and the frequency with which it occurred. Methods Patients...
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Atrial fibrillation (AF) accounts for up to one third of strokes, one of the lead mortality causes worldwide. The European Society of Cardiology guidelines recommend opportunistic screening as a means to increase the odds of early detection and institution of appropriate treatment according to risk factors identified. However, in most countries the...
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Background In nonvalvular atrial fibrillation ( AF ), oral anticoagulants prevent ischemic strokes and transient ischemic attacks ( TIAs ), but nonpersistence with vitamin K antagonist ( VKA ) oral anticoagulant therapy (20–50% at 1 year) is problematic. The precise risk of stroke/ TIA after VKA cessation and its time course during extended follow‐...
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Background: Screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) in people aged ≥65 years is recommended by international guidelines. The Atrial Fibrillation Screen, Management And guideline-Recommended Therapy (AF-SMART) studies of opportunistic AF screening in 16 metropolitan and rural general practices were conducted from November 2016-June 2019. These studi...
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Cardiac thromboembolism attributed to atrial fibrillation (AF) is responsible for up to one-third of ischemic strokes. Stroke may be the first manifestation of previously undetected AF. Given the efficacy of oral anticoagulants in preventing AF-related ischemic strokes, strategies of searching for AF after a stroke using ECG monitoring followed by...
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This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows:. To compare the benefits, harm and the atrial high-rate episode (AHRE) detection rate of implantable cardiac monitors against conventional methods (such as electrocardiogram, ambulatory Holter monitors, event monitors and real-time telemetry) in participants wit...
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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a significant risk factor for avoidable stroke. Among high-risk patients with AF, stroke risk can be mitigated using oral anticoagulants (OACs), however reduction is largely contingent on physician prescription and patient persistence with OAC therapy. Over the past decade significant advances have occurred, with revisio...
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Background Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia globally, responsible for one third of ischaemic strokes, often resulting in death or incapacity. This condition, frequently asymptomatic is estimated to be up to 50% undiagnosed. Reducing this risk with appropriate detection and management strategies offers substantial economic a...
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Background: The precise age distribution and calculated stroke risk of screen-detected atrial fibrillation (AF) is not known. Therefore, it is not possible to determine the number needed to screen (NNS) to identify one treatable new AF case (NNS-Rx) (i.e., Class-1 oral anticoagulation [OAC] treatment recommendation) in each age stratum. If the NNS...
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Aims: At present, there is little evidence on how to treat subclinical atrial fibrillation (SCAF) or atrial high rate episodes (AHREs) detected by cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs). Our aim was to assess current practice around oral anticoagulation (OAC) in such patients. Methods: A web-based survey undertaken by 310 physicians: 59...
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Objective: Examine the feasibility and acceptability of an electrocardiogram (ECG) attached to a mobile phone (iECG) screening device for atrial fibrillation (AF) in Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services (ACCHS) and other community settings. Methods: Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with ACCHS staff in urban, rural and remote com...
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Screening asymptomatic people with a resting electrocardiogram (ECG) has been theorized to detect latent cardiovascular disease. However, resting ECG screening is not recommended for numerous populations, such as asymptomatic middle-aged (sedentary) people, as it is not sufficiently sensitive to detect coronary artery disease. While the issues rais...
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Background: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of death worldwide. Cardiac rehabilitation, an evidence-based CHD secondary prevention programme, remains underutilized. Telehealth may offer an innovative solution to overcome barriers to cardiac rehabilitation attendance. We aimed to determine whether contemporary telehealth interventions...
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Background-This eHealth implementation study aimed to evaluate strategies to promote opportunistic atrial fibrillation (AF) screening using electronic screening prompts and improve treatment using electronic decision support (EDS) software. Methods and Results-—An electronic screening prompt appeared whenever an eligible patient’s (aged ≥65 years,...
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Introduction: Screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) in people ≥65 years is now recommended by guidelines and expert consensus. While AF is often asymptomatic, it is the most common heart arrhythmia and is associated with increased risk of stroke. Early identification and treatment with oral anticoagulants can substantially reduce stroke risk. The...
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Introduction Atrial fibrillation (AF) developing after cardiac surgery is the most common postoperative complication with an incidence up to 50%. The presence of postoperative AF is associated with significant morbidity, mortality and economic burden. However, in Vietnam, data on AF postcardiac surgery are limited, in part due to a shortage of scre...
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Background: The risk of stroke is heterogeneous across different groups of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), being dependent on the presence of various stroke risk factors. We provide recommendations for antithrombotic treatment based on net clinical benefit for patients with AF at varying levels of stroke risk and in a number of common clin...
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There was an error in the first sentence of this article, which incorrectly referred to incidence rather than prevalence. The first sentence should read: “Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart arrhythmia¹ the prevalence rising with age to 18% for those aged 85 years.²” The article has been corrected.
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There are major challenges ahead for clinicians treating patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). The population with AF is expected to expand considerably and yet, apart from anticoagulation, therapies used in AF have not been shown to consistently impact on mortality or reduce adverse cardiovascular events. New approaches to AF management, includi...