11:47am Sunday 22 October 2017

Half of those with atrial fibrillation don’t know of increased stroke risk, survey finds

Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that affects about 2.7 million Americans.
 
The most serious risk of AFib is the other conditions it can lead to, including stroke. Yet, in the association’s survey of 502 adults living with the condition, only 8 percent said stroke is their greatest health concern. Stroke is the No. 3 killer in America, behind heart disease and cancer.
 
“While there’s a lot known about atrial fibrillation, there’s a lot unknown as well,” said Mark Estes III, M.D., professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Mass. “The American Heart Association’s goal for AFib is to bridge those knowledge gaps through research and education. By helping people better understand their risks, we can impact treatment and prevention of AFib and AFib-related strokes.”
 
Of those surveyed, half thought they were at risk for stroke; 25 percent said they weren’t at risk; and 25 percent didn’t know.
 
The survey also found that:
  • Only two-thirds recalled that their healthcare provider talked with them about their elevated stroke risk.
  • Among the 66 percent of AFib patients who talked with their doctors, 21 percent said they were told they have no stroke risk.
“Patients need to be aware of this risk and have serious conversations with their healthcare providers about what they should be doing to prevent stroke,” Estes said.
 One side of a new American Heart Association infographic poster for healthcare professionals includes facts from the association’s recent AFib patient survey. The other side graphically explains AFib, the risk of stroke and the stroke warning signs.
To order the free poster and learn more about AFib and its related risks, visit www.heart.org/afib External link
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About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association 
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke — America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org. External link
 
About the American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is dedicated to prevention, diagnosis and treatment to save lives from stroke — a leading cause of death and serious disability. We fund scientific research, help people better understand and avoid stroke, encourage government support, guide healthcare professionals and provide information to enhance the quality of life for stroke survivors. We were created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit strokeassociation.org External link.
 
Contact: Kristi Manning
(214) 706-1538

Kristi.Manning@heart.org


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