Covered by Dagens Medisin: Calling for even more participants for the record-breaking Norwegian Atrial Fibrillation Self-screening Trial (NORSCREEN)

Sigrun HalvorsenProject leader
Sigrun Halvorsen
Project leader
The Norwegian study NORSCREEN  is funded by the regional health authorities through the KLINBEFORSK programme,and will study whether self-screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) with continuous ECG for 3-7 days in individuals 65 years or older with increased risk for stroke, and initiation of therapy in those with detected AF, will reduce the incidence of stroke and improve long-term outcome.
The study is chaired from Oslo University Hospital Ullevål by project leader professor Sigrun Halvorsen at the Department of Cardiology, Ullevål. The study will include patients from all Norway, and represents a collaboration between all the four health regions. 

 

55,000 Norwegians have so far been invited to participate in the study via Helsenorge.no. A total of 6,000 individuals have consented to participate. The goal is 20.000 participants.
 
The project has been awarded 19.7 million NOK through the National Program for Clinical Treatment Research in Specialist Health Services (KLINBEFORSK).
 
People 65 years or older are invited to participate following a randomly draw from the National Population Register. 
The selected individuals receive a digital invitation letter through Helse Norge, with access to a digital inclusion/exclusion test. Then they have to check whether they fulfill the criteria for participation: either that they are over 75 years old, or  65 years or older with an additional risk factor for stroke, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure or coronary artery disease. 
 
People who already have a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation or have a pacemaker, cannot participate.
Half of the participants are selected to receive an ECG sensor by post, while the other half will not. 
The ECG sensors are sent from the study center at the hospital of Southern Norway.
 
The study started on September 1st, and has in record time brought in over 6,000 participants out of the planned 20,000. Sigrun Halvorsen emphasizes that the recruitment for the study is going very well. Nevertheless, they want more participants.
 
The invitation comes via Helsenorge.no. Participants must have a smartphone and be able to use it. The average age of those registered is 73 years.
 
- We are doing this study to show whether there is any purpose in such systematic screening for AF, says Halvorsen. 
- Previous and smaller studies have shown inconsistent results, so we need a larger study to answer this question. 
 
Links:
 
Article in Dagens Medisin (in Norwegian):
Etterlyser enda flere deltakere til rekordstor atrieflimmerstudie (dagensmedisin.no)
 

Clinical Cardiovascular Research Group, led by Sigrun Halvorsen and Dan Atar
 
 
 
 
 
 
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