Prevalence of undetected  atrial fibrillation and association with cardiovascular risk factors in the community


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a type of irregular heart rhythm when the heart does not pump blood around your body as well as it should.   It is one of the most common cause of stroke (caused by a blood clot) in older persons.

Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke by about 5 times compared with other risk factors such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and heart failure.  Whilst atrial fibrillation affects almost 5% of people over the age of 65 years, it often has no obvious symptoms and can go undetected for many years.  

Screening for cardiovascular risk factors allows early detection before any symptoms develop.   This is a key strategy in preventing stroke related to atrial fibrillation.  Currently, the rate of undetected atrial fibrillation in the community and its link with cardiovascular risk factors is unclear.

Thus, early detection will be highly beneficial for participants.

If you agree to participate you will be asked to give your consent by signing the consent form.

We will ask you to attend two clinic visits:

  • 1st Visit
    • We will measure your blood pressure, height and weight, waist and hip measurement, heart rate/rhythm. We will also ask you a number of questions about your lifestyle habits, medical history, memory or thinking test, and any medications you take or have taken over the past year and your daily activities.
    • You will be asked to donate blood and urine samples. We will measure your blood cholesterols, blood sugar levels, and the presence of protein in your urine.  The remaining samples will be kept for us to measure important substances called biomarkers, which are released into the blood when the heart is damaged or stressed.  Your samples will be destroyed once we have finished analysing the results.
    • We will be checking your heart rhythm by two methods:
      • standard ECG
      • You will be given a small mobile device (iECG) which will record 30 seconds of your heart rhythm, twice daily, over two weeks. You will bring back this device at the next visit.
    • 2nd Visit
      • This visit will occur 14 days after the 1st visit.
      • You will be required to fast for at least 10 hours before this visit.
      • Please bring back the iECG device.
      • We will check the thickness of your blood vessels in your neck, this is called a cIMT test [carotid intima media thickness], and the elasticity of the blood vessels in your arm called FMD (flow-mediated dilatation). These tests will be performed using an ultrasound machine.

    Above is a map of Curtin University. Please park in Carpark PF2 in “30 min only” bays.

    • If you have a GPS please enter Brand Drive, Bentley.


    • If you are coming from the city, please take the Kwinana Freeway heading south, and take the Manning Road exit.
    • Turn left onto Hayman Road at the traffic lights (from here on, follow the pink line on the the map above).
    • Continue on Hayman Road.  Turn left at the traffic lights into Curtin University.
    • Turn left into Beazley Avenue.  Drive straight and turn right onto Brand Drive (parallel to Haymen road).
    • Drive straight and turn right into Carpark B6 (Purple totem pole designated as Reserved for Clinical Parking).
    • Park in the bays marked as “short term 30 min parking”.
    • Proceed to walk about 200m west of the car park towards Building 400 and wait in the foyer area.


    The Healthy Living Clinic

    Rooms 206/208/209,

    Building 400,

    School of Public Health, 

    Curtin University,  Kent St, Bentley WA 6102, Australia

    • phone:  1800 971 022 (Choose Option 1)
    • email:
    • web:

    No referral is required, however appointment bookings are essential. Continued participation is voluntary – you may opt out at any time.

    This study has been approved by the Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) – HRE2018-0296

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    Centre for Clinical Research and Education
    Address: School of Public Health, Curtin University, Bentley WA 6102