Understanding modifiable risk factors for new onset atrial fibrillation: the knowledge gap is closing

Odd Erik Johansen, Arnljot Tveit


There is a steady increase in the global prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in all regions of the world (1,2) and in the European Union an increase from 8.8 million adults over 55 years in 2010, to 17.9 million in 2060, is estimated (3). Part of this increase can be explained by the changing demographics with increasing longevity and thus an ageing population (4), but also due to an increasing prevalence of risk factors for AF (Table 1), in particular obesity (5), but also obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (6), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (7), hypertension (8), and a sedate lifestyle (9), which all plays an important attributable role in the pathophysiology of AF.