Global Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week: 20-26 November 2017

 AF awareness week
 
Did you know...?
  • One in four people will develop Atrial Fibrillation (AF); it affects an estimated 1.5 million across the UK
  • Every 15 seconds someone suffers an AF-related stroke, yet most can be prevented using appropriate medication
  • AF can be detected cheaply and easily with a simple manual pulse check
  • Ask your health professional for a pulse check when you next see them
What is AF?

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a common heart condition which causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate.  Having AF can increase your risk of a blood clot forming inside the heart.  If the clot travels to the brain, it can lead to a stroke.  

In Tameside and Glossop around 340 people have a stroke per year, of which 46 were related to having AF (SSNAP Data 2016).   

Over one million people have been diagnosed with AF in the UK alone, however experts estimate that at least 1/3 people don’t even know they have it.

What causes AF?  

The cause isn’t fully understood but it tends to occur in certain groups of people and may be triggered by smoking, drinking alcohol. Atrial fibrillation is more likely to occur in people with other conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.   

How do you know if you have it?

Sometimes AF doesn’t cause any symptoms and a person with it is completely unaware that their heart rate isn’t regular.   A simple pulse check with your health professional can give you a good indication of whether you have atrial fibrillation, then your GP will request a full medical investigation before a diagnosis can be made. 

Can it be treated?

Yes AF can be treated. If you have AF you and your health professional will have developed a treatment plan and you should be reviewed annually.

What next?

Ask your health professional whether you would benefit from a pulse check If you have AF ensure you follow your treatment plan and attend your medical reviews

 

For further information visit the AF Association website here