PIAAF Pharmacy Study

Program for Identification of “Actionable” Atrial Fibrillation (PIAAF) : Pharmacy Study

Researchers :

  • Dr. Roopinder Sandhu MD, MPH, FHRS | Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta & Cardiac Electrophysiologist at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute
  • Dr. Lisa Dolovich BScPhm, PharmD, MSc | Research Director and Professor at the Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University Scientist & Associate Director at the Centre for Evaluation of Medicines, St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
  • Dr. Jeff Healey MD, MSc, FRCPC, FHRS | Director of Arrhythmia Services at Hamilton Health Sciences & Associate Professor at the Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University

Collaborators and Supporters :

The Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network (C-SPIN ), in collaboration with Rexall Pharmacies, Boehringer Ingelheim, McMaster University, University of Alberta, CardioComm Solutions, the Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program (CHAP), and with support from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Background :

Seniors in Ontario and Alberta will have the opportunity to be screened for atrial fibrillation (AF), a common and very high risk factor for stroke, in community pharmacies.  Embracing a holistic approach to stroke prevention, the PIAAF-Pharmacy Study will screen participants 65 years or older for AF as well as hypertension and diabetes, two other common and treatable stroke risk factors. This Canadian ECG technology allows for AF screening to the brought into the community, offering seniors the convenience and familiarity of a pharmacy setting, while linking results with family physicians and specialists. Offered at 20 participating Rexall Pharmacy locations across Ontario and Alberta, PIAAF-Pharmacy Study is anticipating 2,000 participants to attend screening sessions which begin October 2014.  People will be informed of the availability of screening days through the Heart and Stroke website and media releases as well as through in-store announcements by Rexall.

Objective :

The aim is to determine the prevalence of “actionable” AF defined as those with (i) previously unrecognized AF and (ii) those with AF but suboptimal anticoagulation therapy through pharmacy-led screening. A secondary aim is to identify AF risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes for an integrated approach to stroke prevention.

Methods :

Participants will be screened for AF using a single-lead handheld ECG device. Participants will also have blood pressure (BP) assessed using a pharmacy BP kiosk and type 2 diabetes screening using the CanRisk questionnaire (65-74 years).  Participants screening positive using the single-lead ECG will have 12-lead ECG within 24 to 72 hours.  Participants with confirmed AF, elevated BP and at high risk for diabetes will have recommended follow up with their family physician at 6 weeks. All participants with confirmed AF will have follow-up in 90 ±14 days in an AF clinic. For more information visit: http://www.rexall.ca/categories/heart-health

Results :