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Get Educated About Atrial Fibrillation as Part of Your Stroke Awareness

admin - October 31, 2011

atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeatAn October 26 article from (a UK publication) reminds us how important it is to become educated on how atrial fibrillation can attribute to stroke.

The article reports that 750,000 people in the UK are affected by atrial fibrillation (AF / Afib), or irregular heartbeat. Yet, 67% of people over age 65 are unable to recognize it as a warning sign for stroke.

The article also quotes Steve Benveniste, Campaigns Officer at The Stroke Association who says, “Atrial fibrillation increases your risk of stroke by up to five times and around 12,500 strokes a year are thought to be directly linked to the condition.”

Benveniste goes on to say, “It’s worrying that such a significant proportion of people over the age of 65 are unaware of the link between AF and stroke, especially because they are more likely than any other age group to develop the heart condition.”

This means, of course, atrial fibrillation is not limited to our friends across the pond. In fact, according to, atrial fibrillation affects more than 2 million people in the US and about 15 percent of all strokes in the US occur in people with Afib.

So, here is what you need to do next:

Know the Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

Make an appointment with your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Heart palpitations (sudden pounding, fluttering, or a racing feeling in the chest)
  • Lack of energy, fatigue
  • Light headedness, fainting
  • Confusion
  • Chest discomfort
  • Shortness of breath (even at rest)

Know the Risk Factors of Atrial Fibrillation

Decrease you risk for atrial fibrillation by knowing the risk factors and identifying if you have any of these factors, which include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol and/or caffeine consumption
  • Extreme stress or fatigue
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Diabetes

Know That There is Preventive Testing for Afib

You should know that in both the US and the UK, Life Line Screening offers convenient, non-invasive testing for atrial fibrillation. Watch the Life Line Screening YouTube video to see just how easy testing can be at:

Get Additional Education About Afib and Stroke

Here are some resources for you to help you get started learning more about Afib and stroke:

Read a past blog post we did in honor of National Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) Awareness Month at, which includes a link to the National Stroke Association:

Check out our past blog post that contains our Stroke Across America INFOGRAPHIC, which contains important information about stroke that you can share with your loved ones at:

Visit the site for info at:

Visit the American Stroke Association at:

Read the article from in full detail at:


2 Comments so far
  1. Kit Andruss - October 31, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I’m not in that 65-and-older group just yet… only in my early 50’s but I think I have an irregular heartbeat…it does funny things when I exert myself. Harder now to go up and down the stairs at my apt.

    I am overweight and sedentary. And I do have high blood pressure which I take medicine for.

    I plan to get checked for Afib as soon as I can after the holidays!

  2. Joelle Reizes - November 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    So glad you are going to get checked out. Let us know how things go for you after you see the doctor.

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