DALLAS, Sept. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — More than a decade ago, atrial fibrillation (afib) was a little-known condition. After creating Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month in 2007, patient advocacy organization StopAfib.org worked with medical society partners to get the U.S. Senate in 2009 to designate September as National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month. That makes this the perfect time to remind people what afib is and how to recognize it in themselves or others, to ensure they or their loved ones get diagnosed and treated before they develop a stroke, heart failure, or dementia.
Afib is the most common irregular heartbeat. It affects more than six million people in the U.S., a number that is expected to increase as our population ages. After 55, your lifetime risk of developing afib is one in three. Underlying risk factors for developing afib include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even sleep apnea.
People with afib typically 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 not feel any afib at all. Thus, some people may be walking time bombs with undiagnosed afib that puts them at risk for an afib-related stroke.
"Afib increases stroke risk 500%, and one in three people with afib will have a stroke," said Mellanie True Hills, an afib patient who is the founder of StopAfib.org. "Knowing about afib may be more important now than ever, because people with COVID-19 often go to the hospital with shortness of breath accompanied by fast or irregular heartbeats, including afib. Those with afib develop serious complications from COVID-19, including blood clots and strokes. In addition, long after people recover from COVID-19, they may still struggle with afib and other heartbeat issues along with damage to the heart, lungs, brain, or other organs. We do not yet know the full long-term impact of having COVID-19 and afib together."
StopAfib.org offers resources to help those who want to learn more about afib. To find information about afib symptoms, causes, risks, and treatments, access StopAfib.org’s "Get Started Learning About Afib Guide" at www.StopAfib.org. Also, access carefully curated video content (recordings of past annual patient conferences as well as webinars and masterclasses from world-renowned experts) in the StopAfib.org Library (most at no cost). The recordings of the 2021 Get in Rhythm. Stay in Rhythm.® Virtual Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conference are now available at https://GetInRhythm.com.
StopAfib.org’s resources and conference help those living with afib improve their quality of life and make informed decisions about treatment options. One conference attendee said, "The StopAfib.org online library and virtual conference have given me the knowledge to trust my decisions and those of my current medical team."
Another said, "Jumping to the StopAfib.org website after attending the conference was great. It provided additional educational resources. Now, I have so many resources available to me, it seems I can get an answer for anything I need to know."
StopAfib.org was founded in 2007 by atrial fibrillation patients for afib patients. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for those living with afib and save lives by raising awareness 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. To learn more about the organization, visit www.StopAfib.org.