Around 1.3 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with AF but it is thought that a further 500,000 have the condition which puts them at a five-fold higher risk of stroke.
The British Heart Foundation which partfunded the research says it highlights the need for AF screening and diagnosis.
The University of Leeds team discovered that since 2009 the number of AF patients being treated with anticoagulants has more than doubled.
They estimate that, had the uptake of anticoagulants stayed at 2009 levels, there would have been around 4,000 more strokes in AF patients in England between 2015-2016.
Professor Chris Gale said: “AF risk rises dramatically with age. Our ageing population makes it clear that without intervention, AF and associated stroke cases are going to increase.”