Atrial flutter is an abnormal cardiac rhythm characterized by rapid, regular atrial depolarizations at a characteristic rate of approximately 300 beats/min and a regular ventricular rate of about 150 beats/min in patients not taking atrioventricular (AV) nodal blockers. It can lead to symptoms of palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, or lightheadedness, as well as an increased risk of atrial thrombus formation that may cause cerebral and/or systemic embolization.
Overall prevalence of AF in the Netherlands is 5.5% in the population over 55 years, corresponding to about 250,000 AF patients. The prevalence increases with age, and the mean age of AF patients is 69.3 years. Incidence of AF in the Netherlands varies with age, from 1188 new cases in the age group of 55 to 59 up to 7074 new cases in the age group 75 to 79. AF is a serious disease with a high clinical and economic burden, especially due to hospitalisations as a result of cardiovascular events. The number of patients with AF in the Netherlands is considerable and will increase with the ageing population in the future.