PACIFIC Study

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

WHAT IS THE PACIFIC STUDY ABOUT?

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.

This is an observational study, not a clinical trial.

We will ask you to attend two clinic visits:

  • First Visit
    • Measurement of blood pressure, height and weight, waist and hip measurement, heart rate/rhythm.  
    • Questionnaire about lifestyle, medical history, memory or thinking test, and any medications.
    • Blood and urine sample. Testing blood cholesterols, blood sugar levels, and the presence of protein in urine.  
    • 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. 
    • We will be checking 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.First
  • Second Visit
    • This visit will occur 14 days after the 1st visit.
    • We will ask you to fast for at least 10 hours before this visit.
    • Ultrasound to check the thickness of your blood vessels in your neck, this is called a cIMT test [carotid intima media thickness].

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Address: School of Public Health, Curtin University, Bentley WA 6102