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  1. ITV Report

Cases of most common heart abnormality 'to double' by 2050

A fully-functioning virtual heart invented to help train cardiologists and doctors train Photo: Ian Nicholson/PA

The number of people in Wales diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition is expected to double by 2050, a report has found.

The announcement comes from a group of independent UK experts who specialise in atrial fibrillation (AF) - the most common heart rhythm abnormality.

In the report they state that despite readily available checks, around half of AF patients still remain undiagnosed.

But heart problems are not the only risk to people with atrial fibrillation. One in five strokes are caused by the condition.

The report warns that despite clinical evidence showing that anti-blood clot medicines are superior for reducing the chance of strokes, too many GPs are incorrectly prescribing aspirin to patients instead.

Over 9,000 people in Wales suffered strokes linked to AF in 2010. The total cost of treating those in Wales who have experienced AF-related strokes over the years is more than £100 million.

Now the report's atrial fibrillation experts are calling for increased heart screening to ensure early detection of the condition.

Conservative MP Glyn Davies says dealing with the issue early could save 'huge amounts of money' in the long run.