Media Advisory - June is Seniors' Month and Stroke Month - What has an impact on both? - Atrial fibrillation



    - Atrial Fibrillation now ranks among the top cardiovascular epidemics of
    the 21st century -

    TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - Atrial fibrillation (AF), generally referred to
as an irregular heartbeat, is a common condition that remains relatively
unknown. It is most prevalent in seniors and is believed to cause 15 to 20 per
cent of all strokes. In the last 20 years, hospital admissions for AF have
increased by 66 per cent, largely due to the aging population and a rising
prevalence of chronic heart disease.(i)

    
    WHAT:      AF awareness during Seniors' Month and Stroke Month - the
               condition, the unmet medical need and promising treatment
               advances.

    WHO:       Dr. Paul Dorian, a Toronto cardiologist and leading AF expert.
               Department Director, Division of Cardiology and Professor of
               Medicine, University of Toronto; Staff Cardiologist,
               St. Michael's Hospital

    WHEN:      Monday, June 16, 2008 and Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    OVERVIEW:  AF affects approximately 250,000 Canadians and is the most
               common type of cardiac arrhythmia. It is an established risk
               factor for stroke and premature death.(ii) There is an unmet
               need in treatment options for AF.

               A new treatment under investigation may represent a major
               therapeutic advance in the treatment of AF. Results of a major
               study called "ATHENA" showed that dronedarone (Multaq) was not
               only safe and effective but reduced cardiovascular
               hospitalizations and death in patients with AF. No other study
               with any other drug had succeeded in showing such outcomes.

               The international ATHENA study, led by Canadian Principal
               Investigator, Dr. Stuart Connolly from Hamilton (McMaster),
               was conducted in 35 countries, with 27 sites in Canada.

               ATHENA study shows:
               -  A statistically significant 24 per cent reduction in
                  cardiovascular hospitalization or death from any cause in
                  patients with AF;
               -  A 30 per cent decrease in the risk of cardiovascular death
                  in patients with AF or atrial flutter; and
               -  A 45 per cent decrease in the risk for arrhythmic death.


    -------------------
    (i)  Friberg J, Buch P, Scharling H, et al. Rising rates of hospital
         admissions for atrial fibrillation. Epidemiology 2003;14:666-72.
    (ii) ACC/AHA/ESC 2006 guidelines for the management of patients with
         atrial fibrillation. European Heart Journal (2006) 27, 1979-2030
    





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview with Dr. Dorian,
please contact: Mary-Anne Cedrone, Manning Selvage & Lee, Tel: (416) 847-1342,
Email: mary-anne.cedrone@mslpr.ca

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