Clinical use of cECG for detecting AF after stroke is unclear. In a Danish nationwide cohort, this study described post‐stroke time trends in outpatient cECG usage and AF incidence and characterized factors associated with cECG use.
The study population comprised of 39 641 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Cumulative use of cECG increased threefold from 3.3% in 2010 to 10.5% in 2016. Correspondingly, the cumulative incidence of post‐stroke AF increased from 1.9% to 2.8%. Of all cECG‐evaluated patients, 6.3% received an AF diagnosis versus 2.2% of the unevaluated. Receiving cECG was associated with increased odds of AF. Lower age, milder strokes, and less comorbidity were associated with increased odds of receiving cECG. Risk factors for AF were increasing age and more comorbidity.
Through the findings, this study concluded that post‐stroke outpatient cECG use and AF incidence have increased over time, but screening rates were low. cECG use was associated with tripled odds of detecting AF. There was a disparity between factors associated with cECG use and risk factors of AF. This raises questions as to the appropriateness of the current clinical approach to post-stroke AF detection.