(HealthDay News) – Hospitalizations for atrial fibrillation are projected to increase by 28% in the next decade, while costs are projected to increase by 55%, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16–19 in Dallas.

Sadip Pant, MBBS, from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, and colleagues analyzed data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database to examine trends in the prevalence and costs of atrial fibrillation-related hospitalization from 1998–2010.

The researchers found that there were 4,676,758 atrial fibrillation-related hospitalizations over this time period, representing a 46% increase. An additional 541,000 hospitalizations are projected by 2020, representing a 28% increase from 2010. Hospitalization costs increased linearly and were estimated to increase by 55% in 2020 compared with 2010.

“These data indicate that atrial fibrillation-related hospitalizations and the cost of care has increased tremendously over the last decade and is likely to pose a large public health burden in the future,” Pant and colleagues conclude.

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