Atrial Fibrillation Month Focuses on Life-Threatening Heartbeat
August 27, 2007 6:20 AM CT
Dallas, TX, August 28, 2007 — Over five million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heartbeat, where the heart spins goes out of control with little warning and for no apparent reason. It’s a frightening occurrence that will impact millions more as atrial fibrillation overtakes aging baby boomers. The Mayo Clinic estimates that by 2050 at least 16 million Americans will have it. Thus, StopAfib.org proclaims September as Atrial Fibrillation Month to raise awareness of this life-threatening irregular heartbeat.
Atrial fibrillation, commonly known as afib, is a misfiring of the electrical signals of the heart involving rapid or irregular heartbeats or quivering of the heart’s upper chambers. Often considered benign, with its skipped heartbeats, palpitations, or lightheadedness, it can in fact lead to congestive heart failure or to stroke. One-third of atrial fibrillation patients will have a stroke, and afib is responsible for 105,000–140,000 strokes per year in the United States. Stroke, the #3 killer, takes at least one person every hour of every day and is the #1 cause of permanent disability among women and men.
Mellanie True Hills, heart health expert, founder of StopAfib.org, and author of the award-winning A Woman’s Guide to Saving Her Own Life: The HEART Program for Health and Longevity, had a brush with death in emergency heart surgery and a near-stroke due to atrial fibrillation. She found life with afib to be paralyzing and terrifying and the impact on patients’ lives to be grossly underestimated by many doctors. After being cured, she couldn’t stand on the sidelines and watch others suffer, knowing the huge physical, emotional, and financial toll that afib takes.
It was only natural that Mellanie would start the American Foundation for Women’s Health and a new atrial fibrillation patient resource, www.StopAfib.org, to help others deal with this daunting condition by understanding symptoms, causes, risks, and treatments. StopAfib.org also features a newsletter that provides information about the latest innovative cures. Mellanie and www.StopAfib.org are featured in the Fall issue of Better Homes & Gardens’ Heart-Healthy Living magazine.
What Can You Do?
During September’s Atrial Fibrillation Month, StopAfib.org asks you to take the following actions:
- Pause and listen to your heart for racing, pulsing, palpitations, or an irregular or erratic heartbeat.
- Identify your afib risks, such as existing heart disease or obstructive sleep apnea.
- Learn more about atrial fibrillation at www.StopAfib.org and sign up for the newsletter.
- If you suspect afib, ask your doctor to check you out.
- If you have afib, work with your doctor to manage it so it doesn’t lead to stroke or congestive heart failure.
- Tell family and friends about afib and send them to www.StopAfib.org for more information.