Many With Irregular Heartbeat Unaware of Raised Stroke Risk

Many With Irregular Heartbeat Unaware of Raised Stroke Risk

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FRIDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) — Half of the 2.7 million Americans affected by an irregular heartbeat, identified as atrial fibrillation, deny or do not know they are at higher risk for stroke, according to a new survey from the American Heart Association (AHA).

“Although there is a lot recognized about atrial fibrillation, there’s a lot unknown as well,” Dr. Mark Estes III, professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, said in a news release from the heart association. “The American Heart Association’s goal for atrial fibrillation is to bridge those expertise gaps via analysis and education. By helping men and women better understand their risks, we can impact treatment and prevention of atrial fibrillation and atrial fibrillation-related strokes.”

The AHA surveyed 502 individuals living with atrial fibrillation. Regardless of being the third-leading cause of death in the United States (behind heart illness and cancer), the survey revealed that just 8 percent of those polled considered stroke to be their greatest well being concern. On the contrary, 25 percent stated they were not at risk for stroke and yet another 25 percent didn’t know if they were at risk.

Moreover, the AHA survey revealed that only two-thirds of those polled received information on their increased risk of stroke from their physician. Of the 66 percent that did speak to their doctors, 21 percent stated they had been told they have no risk for stroke.

“Patients require to be aware of this risk and have significant conversations with their health care providers about what they ought to be performing to stop stroke,” concluded Estes.

A lot more info

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has far more on atrial fibrillation and stroke.