The estimated prevalence of AF in England is 2.5% and increases with age with a prevalence of more than 9% in those aged over 85 years and is predicted to double over the next 25 years as the population ages. It may be asymptomatic.

Effects of AF-related stroke are much more serious than non-AF related stroke, with 2 out of every 5 patients dying, another 2 going into a care home and only 1 going home.