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Project description

Risk-based screening for atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a type of arrhythmia that frequently affects ageing populations and carries a high risk of stroke, heart failure and dementia. The disease is on the rise, and it is estimated that by 2050 it will affect 5 % of the European population over the age of 65. Despite an EU guide for active ageing and disease prevention, there is no risk-based screening strategy. The EU-funded AFFECT-EU project intends to develop a precise, risk-based and ready for application AF screening algorithm for early AF detection. The project will use digital devices to combine the available information from the largest tests performed and multiple marker screening types of research across Europe, process the stratification of high-risk populations based on a personalised method, confirm recommendations and prove cost benefits.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an increasingly common arrhythmia in the aging European population. Its prevalence will more than double by the year 2050 affecting 5% of EU women and men aged ≥65 years. AF carries a high risk of stroke, heart failure, and dementia, which result in a significant loss of quality-adjusted life years and high mortality. The EU guiding principles for active aging (no. 17468/12) recommend disease prevention to maximise healthy life, and early detection of AF is recommended by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Nonetheless, to date, a risked-based screening strategy is lacking.
AFFECT-EU’s major goal is the development of a risk-based, accurate, and ready for implementation AF screening algorithm, using digital devices, for early AF detection in the community.
For this objective we will
(1) Develop a risk-based AF screening algorithm, by combining the available information from the largest outcome trials (Danish LOOP, STROKESTOP, SAFER) and multiple screening studies across Europe (Ntotal>100,000) including health modifiers and biomarkers;
(2) Refine the stratification of high-risk populations in a personalised approach through exploration of distinct digital screening methods and multiple health determinants in deeply-phenotyped population cohorts;
(3) Validate the AFFECT-EU risked-based screening recommendations in a meta-analysis of European and world-wide studies;
(4) Demonstrate cost benefits and acceptability of AF screening across different European healthcare systems;
(5) Identify the AF screening potential to be taken up by differing healthcare systems;
(6) Foster the dissemination of results and adoption of the risked-based AF screening algorithm in the ESC (an AFFECT-EU partner) guidelines.
AFFECT-EU will develop the first targeted, risk-based AF screening algorithm, and thus contribute to the reduction of AF-related health inequities, morbidity and mortality in Europe.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 471 735,00
Martinistrasse 52
20251 Hamburg

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Hamburg Hamburg Hamburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 546 072,50

Participants (25)