UK’s Leading Heart Rhythm Charity Backs National Campaign to Highlight Atrial Fibrillation

Charity welcomes new campaign by BHF to improve knowledge of Atrial Fibrillation

Stratford-Upon-Avon, United Kingdom, November 16, 2009 --( The UK’s most common heart rhythm disorder, Atrial Fibrillation (AF), is too often ignored or underestimated in its potential to cause misery and death.

The Arrhythmia Alliance and The Atrial Fibrillation Association, leading charities on heart rhythm disorders, are welcoming The British Heart Foundation (BHF) joining the initiative to highlight the problems of Atrial Fibrillation, a condition often thought to be troublesome but non-life threatening.

Atrial Fibrillation is a major cause of stroke. In fact, 1 in 3 people with AF will suffer a stroke, so it is vital for people suffering from an irregular heart rhythm to be accurately diagnosed and treated.

We all have a 1 in 4 life time risk of developing AF. The condition can cause few physical symptoms or it can be seriously debilitating. Even if there are no symptoms the risk of stroke remains It is thought to affect almost 1 million people in the UK and is costing the NHS one percent of its total annual budget.

AF can be detected by a simple pulse check. Arrhythmia Alliance is currently continuing its successful 2009 “Know Your Pulse” campaign with the long term goal of ensuring that pulse checks become routine. The two-week campaign by BHF, starting today, will further endorse their long term goal to raise awareness of the condition and help save more lives.

To see Sir Roger Moore demonstrate how to take a pulse, visit For more information, visit and

Editor’s Notes:
1. Arrhythmia Alliance, a coalition of patients, charities, professionals and industry, works to raise awareness of cardiac arrhythmias and to promote effective diagnosis and treatment.
2. For further information on cardiac arrhythmias visit or for further information on Atrial Fibrillation visit To find out more about the BHF campaign, contact The British Heart Foundation.
3. Arrhythmia Alliance is encouraging its members to help work towards routine pulse checks in GP surgeries. Supporters can sign the No.10 Government e-petition and visit the newly designed Know Your Pulse website to download a free copy of the Pulse Check Card. Members can also use our template letter to write to their MP to raise awareness of the campaign.
4. For more information and to receive your template MP letter please contact or telephone 01789 451823

Atrial Fibrillation Fast Facts:

• AF affects almost 1 million people in the UK and costs 1% of the annual NHS budget
• An episode of AF can last from a few minutes to many weeks and being a progressive disorder, up to 25% of initially self-terminating AF will become permanent in 5 years, and 50% by 10 years.
• There are 16,000 strokes annually in patients with AF in England which result in: 4,300 deaths in hospital, 3,200 discharges to residential care, 8,500 deaths within the first year.
• The annual cost of stroke to the UK economy is £8.9 billion – that is £44,000 per stroke victim (Saka et al, 2009). So detecting AF and reducing the risk if stroke by effective management is Very cost efficient.
• The easiest way to detect AF is, to feel the pulse.

Arrhythmia Alliance
Jo Jerrome
01789 450787