Atrial fibrillation, often referred to AFib, is the most common type of heart arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is when the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way. When the normal beating in the upper chambers of the heart (the two atria) is irregular, and blood doesn’t flow as well as it should from the atria to the lower chambers of the heart (the two ventricles).
- An estimated 2.7–6.1 million people in the United States have AFib. With the aging of the U.S. population, this number is expected to increase.
- About 9% of people aged 65 years or older have AFib.
More than 750,000 hospitalizations occur each year because of AFib. The condition contributes to an estimated 130,000 deaths each year. The death rate from AFib as the primary or a contributing cause of death has been rising for more than two decades.
AFib costs the United States about $6 billion each year. Medical costs for people who have AFib are about $8,705 higher per year than for people who do not have AFib.