Embargoed until 1 p.m. CT / 2 p.m. ET Monday, Dec. 7, 2020

WASHINGTON Dec. 7, 2020 — Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of ischemic stroke fivefold, and in the setting of mitral stenosis it drives up the risk of stroke twentyfold over that of patients with a normal heartbeat. Atrial flutter also significantly raises the chance of stroke, and the likelihood increases with certain risk factors. In an update to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Clinical Performance and Quality Measures on Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter, the writing committee for this 2020 document incorporated two changes to performance measures in accordance with the 2019 ACC/AHA/Heart Rhythm Society atrial fibrillation guideline focused update.

The first change in the document, which is incorporated into all the performance measures, is the definition of valvular atrial fibrillation, including for patients with either moderate or severe mitral stenosis or those with a mechanical prosthetic heart valve. The second change, which only applies to the performance measure of anticoagulation prescribed, is the different CHA2DS2-VASc risk score treatment thresholds for men (greater than one) and women (greater than two), further demonstrating that the risk of stroke differs for men and women with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. The CHA2DS2-VASc calculates stroke risk for patients with atrial fibrillation based on age, sex and clinical factors. Successful implementation of these updated performance measures by clinicians and health care organizations will lead to quality improvement for adult patients with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.

The 2020 Update to the 2016 ACC/AHA Clinical Performance and Quality Measures for Adults With Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter will publish online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes on Monday, Dec. 7 at 2:00 p.m. EST. It was developed in collaboration with the Heart Rhythm Society.

About the American College of Cardiology

The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its 54,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit acc.org.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public's health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org , Facebook , Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


Additional Resources:

For Media Inquiries:

AHA: Maggie Francis, maggie.francis@heart.org, 214-706-1382

ACC: Dana Kauffman, dkauffman@acc.org, 202-375-6294

For Public Inquiries:

1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org