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

Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

The UK NSC does not recommend a national screening programme for Atrial Fibrilation (AF) because:

  • there are different types of AF and it is not clear if these all have the same risk for stroke
  • it is not known how effective treatment for AF is in people found through screening
  • it is not known if screening is more beneficial for people with AF than the current approach

A large research project is currently underway in the UK to find out if screening is more beneficial for people with AF than the current process. This will help the UK NSC to 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
British Heart Rhythm Society
Central & East London Comprehensive Local Research Network
Education for Health
Faculty of Public Health
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.

Related documents

icon Evidence summary- Atrial fibrillation (2014) (PDF document, 388KB, 09/12/19)

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