It was unknown if patients with a ‘resolved atrial fibrillation’ diagnosis are at increased risk of stroke.
This issue is important as we found using Dexter almost 10% of patients with AF had a resolved AF code and were mostly not anticoagulated. Our real world evidence research (published in the British Medical Journal) showed these patients were at high risk of stroke in comparison to the general population and therefore should be considered for anticoagulation. Our findings were shared to NHS England and NICE, following which we provided additional analysis to support changes to the existing Quality and Outcomes Framework. NICE put forward our recommendation for consultation. Following consultation, they referenced our work and gave the following caution:
“AF may resolve in some specific and limited situations. Contractors should also note that patients who have been recorded with AF resolved, continue to be at an increased risk of stroke compared to patients who have never had an episode of AF10. Contractors should consider the implications of this for individual patients before using the AF resolved code.”