AHA Survey on AFib & Stroke
A recent American Heart Association/American Stroke Association survey noted the increased awareness in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation and the correlation between this condition and stroke.
According to a release from AHA, atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that affects about 2.7 million Americans, putting them at higher risk of suffering from other cardiovascular conditions including stroke, which is the number 4 killer in the United States.
In 2011, over 500 patients with atrial fibrillation were surveyed and half of these were unaware of their increased risk of stroke. The (literally) heartening news, however, is that just one year later another poll targeting 500 AFib patients revealed that their knowledge of the five-fold risk of potentially suffering a stroke had improved to 64 percent. The AHA credits the rise in patient education and overall understanding of atrial fibrillation.
Patrick Ellinor, Ph. D., spokesperson for AHA and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital is quoted in the release as saying, "The fact that 64 percent of AFib patients are aware that they have a five times greater risk of having a stroke is a great step in the right direction. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association works to provide healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers the educational tools and resources they need on this very important topic. We hope to report a higher percentage annually until we reach 100 percent."