African American man in wheelchair at risk of having AFib

Atrial Fibrillation Care

Multiple factors contribute to racial, gender and ethnic disparities in care for Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). Take a closer look at the differences in risk factors and barriers to care.

Who’s at Risk?

The prevalence of AFib is predicted to increase from 5.2 million cases in 2010 to over 12 million cases in 20301, affecting a disproportionate number of minorities. 

two times

Women with AFib have twice the risk of a stroke compared with men.2

sixty percent

of women with diabetes have an increased risk of AFib, compared with 40% of men.3  


Insight from Underserved AFib Patients

In order to help you understand how to best reach undertreated minority groups at the local level, Boston Scientific commissioned a market research study on traditionally underserved populations across the country. Researchers engaged with people who identified as being either at high risk or who have already been diagnosed with AFib in order to capture demographic, psycho-graphic and behavioral insights. Below is a snapshot of patients’ perceptions. You can also download a one-page summary.

Download key insights

Barriers to Accessing AFib Care

The market research study found that people with A-Fib identify these top obstacles in getting care after diagnosis:

  • 26% cite cost of healthcare or insurance
  • 18% cite other health conditions
  • 13% cite finding a doctor 

Barriers to Delayed AFib Care

The study found that female respondents tended to take longer than males to seek care after diagnosis, 22% took more than a month to get care, compared with 7% of males. Those who delayed more than one month gave these top reasons:

  1. They couldn’t get a appointment sooner
  2. They didn’t think their AFib was that bad
  3. They didn’t think it was serious enough to seek urgent care

What Can Help Underserved A-Fib Patients


Give Educational Materials

  • 48% feel overwhelmed when diagnosed
  • 42% want treatment options written out 
  • 32% wish they knew more about their treatment options



Increase Communication & Access

  • 72% of females feel that they don’t have the right information about  their diagnosis
  • 57% want to get email from their HCP  to receive information
  • 50% want to talk to others with a similar condition


Connect with Your Patients

  • Many patients emphasize that they want to feel like they’re being listened to, and for their care team to understand that they may be coping with other conditions, such as kidney failure

Healthcare Disparity Details

Clinical research diversity

Increase Clinical Research Diversity

A total of 69% of A-Fib patient respondents say they’re “somewhat” or “very” likely to participate in a clinical trial – but 90% have never been asked to participate in one.  Learn about opportunities for increasing research diversity and find educational materials to inform your patients. 

Untreated areas around you

Who’s Going Untreated in Your Area?

Boston Scientific can provide you with a zip-code specific Disparity Index Report with epidemiological data on the health challenges impacting your community.

How Can Close The Gap Support You?

Boston Scientific dedicated Health Equity Consultants are here to build a personalized program
to help you target your at-risk demographics – at no expense to you.


1,2 Bai, C et al. (2018). Sex differences in Atrial Fibrillation – Update on Risk Assessment, Treatment, and Long-Term Risk. Curr Treat Options Cardio Med (2018) 20: 79. DOI: 10.1007/s11936-018-0682-3.
3 Staerk, L. et al. (2017). Atrial Fibrillation: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Clinical Outcomes. Circ Res 2017 Apr 28: 120(9): 1501-1517. Doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.117.309732.