Over Two Million Americans with Undiagnosed Atrial Fibrillation May Be Walking Time Bombs
September is National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of afib and the risk of stroke
September 2, 2020
- Summary: September is National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month—Over Two Million Americans with Undiagnosed Atrial Fibrillation May Be Walking Time Bombs.
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Over Two Million Americans with Undiagnosed Atrial Fibrillation May Be Walking Time Bombs.
DALLAS, September 2, 2020—More than a decade ago, afib was a little-known condition. After creating Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, patient advocacy organization StopAfib.org worked with medical society partners to get the U.S. Senate to designate September as National Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) Awareness Month, which they did, in 2009.
“That’s why now is the perfect time to remind people what afib is and how to recognize it in themselves or others, so they can get treatment (or ensure their loved ones do) before they develop a stroke, heart failure, or dementia,” said StopAfib.org founder Mellanie True Hills.
Afib is the most common irregular heartbeat. Having afib increases a person’s stroke risk by 500%. According to the Framingham Heart Study, after the age of fifty-five, there is a one-in-three lifetime risk of developing afib. It affects over six million people in the U.S., a number that will increase as the Baby Boomers age. Most people with afib experience palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, and sometimes a racing heartbeat. Some report that their heart feels like a fish that is flopping around in their chest.
“Still, about one-third (over two million people in the U.S.) may be walking time bombs … they don’t feel any symptoms at all, but are at risk for an afib-related stroke,” she said.
“And because COVID-19 causes heart damage for many, including arrhythmias (heartbeat issues), we will likely see an increased number of people living with afib. That’s why it’s more important than ever that people know what it is and how to recognize it.”
After having a procedure that made her afib-free, Mellanie True Hills founded StopAfib.org to help others living with afib and to prevent afib-related strokes.
The organization’s annual conference, the Get in Rhythm. Stay in Rhythm.® Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conference (which will be virtual this year) brings together the world’s experts in afib to present the latest research and treatment information, in plain English. It’s three life-changing days that can give those living with afib their lives back.
Because afib can take a physical, emotional, and financial toll on patients and their family members, StopAfib.org has curated an invaluable collection of news stories, webinars, and masterclasses to help increase knowledge about afib, so those living with it can improve their quality of life. To learn more about the risk factors for afib, how to identify it, and/or how to manage it for those who already have it, visit www.StopAfib.org. To receive updates on the latest afib news, consider signing up for the newsletter.
In honor of National Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) Awareness Month, StopAfib.org recommends taking these steps: stop and listen to your heart for racing, palpitations, or an irregular heartbeat; visit the doctor if you suspect you might have afib; get checked for underlying risk factors such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea; and if diagnosed, make a plan with your doctor for managing your afib so you avoid a stroke, heart failure, and even dementia.
Just as importantly, tell friends and family members about afib to help increase awareness, and visit www.StopAfib.org for more information.
StopAfib.org was founded in 2007 by atrial fibrillation patients for afib patients. Its mission: to improve the quality of life for those living with afib and to save lives by raising awareness of afib and decreasing afib-related strokes. StopAfib.org is the top arrhythmia site and holds HON Code Certification from the Health on the Net Foundation, signifying a credible, trustworthy medical website.
StopAfib.org provides information about afib symptoms, causes, risks, treatments, resources, and the latest afib news. To access a carefully curated collection of afib-related video materials, create a no-cost account at www.StopAfibLibrary.com. To learn more about the organization and the annual Get In Rhythm. Stay In Rhythm.® Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conference, visit www.StopAfib.org.