The Route Map for Change & the European Atlas on the Prevention of AF-Related Stroke

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a leading cause of stroke, and although effective therapies exist, significant inequalities in access exist across Europe. 


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is common, yet few people have heard of it. It is the second most important risk factor for stroke, and AF-related strokes are the most disabling and expensive type of stroke.

One in five strokes is caused by AF – and every patient with AF should receive effective anticoagulation therapy to reduce their risk of stroke. But despite strong evidence and international guidelines, many patients do not receive appropriate stroke prevention therapy.

Greater efforts are needed to improve awareness, detection and appropriate treatment and care for all patients with AF at risk of stroke.

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2% of the general population is affected by AF

AF is the 2nd most important cause of stroke

1 in 5 strokes is caused by AF

What we achieved

HPP worked with more than 20 leading clinicians and patient organisations from across Europe to create the Route Map for Change & the European Atlas on the Prevention of AF-Related Stroke.

The development of this comprehensive report was supported by a steering committee comprising Professor John Camm, the Arrhythmia Alliance and AntiCoagulation Europe.

The Route Map for Change provides:

  • 16 detailed case studies of what has worked in different countries
  • 27 comprehensive country profiles, allowing detailed comparisons between healthcare systems
  • 7 priority areas to guide action by policymakers.

The Route Map has been translated into several languages and used by colleagues in many countries to increase awareness and policy engagement on AF. In 2018, HPP worked on a follow-up to the Route Map in the form of a white paper on inequalities and unmet needs in the detection of AF and use of therapies to prevent AF-related stroke in Europe.

Key partners and stakeholders

  • Professor John Camm
  • Arrhythmia Alliance
  • AntiCoagulation Europe
The project was initiated and funded by the BMS–Pfizer Alliance.