Current UK NSC recommendations > Atrial Fibrillation

The UK NSC recommendation on Atrial Fibrillation screening in adults

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Last review completed August 2019
Next review due in 2022/23
Key downloads

Systematic population screening is not recommended as it is not clear that those identified as at risk through screening would benefit from early diagnosis.


Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

The review found that it is not clear if the different types of AF have the same risk for stroke or how well treatment works in people with AF found through screening.

The evidence review also found it was uncertain whether screening is better than the current approach.

The SAFER trial (currently ongoing in the UK) is starting to try to find out if screening is more effective than the current situation for people with AF. This will help the UK NSC understand more about the benefits and harms of screening.

More about Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation causes a fast and erratic heart beat. It is a complication of various diseases. Medication can slow the heart rate back to normal, and ease symptoms. In some cases, treatment can restore the heart back to a normal rhythm.

» Read more about atrial fibrillation on NHS UK


AF Association
AntiCoagulation Europe
Arrhythmia Alliance
British Cardiovascular Society
British Heart Foundation
Central & East London Comprehensive Local Research Network
Education for Health
Faculty of Public Health
Heart Rhythm UK
NHS Improvement
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Nursing
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Royal College of Surgeons
Stroke Association

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Recommendation Review History

The 2014 review of Atrial Fibrillation was the first time the review has been formally review by the UK National Screening Committee.

Related documents

icon Additional Consultation Comments on 2014 Atrial Fibrillation Review (PDF document, 226KB, 24/11/15)
icon UK NSC coversheet & consultation responses (2014) (PDF document, 779KB, 28/07/14)

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