STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, England, Sept. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - The AF Association announces a collaboration with Boston Scientific Corporation, a global leader in innovative medical technology, to improve awareness of the most common heart rhythm disorder in the world, atrial fibrillation (AF).
More than 71 million people across the world are affected by AF, which is associated with a high risk of heart failure, cognitive dysfunction, premature death and is the single biggest cardiovascularcause of stroke, increasing risk by up to 500%. AF-related strokes are more severe, more disabling and result in higher mortality compared to non-AF strokes. Not only is the impact on individuals and their families detrimental, the economic burden of AF stroke is huge, accounting for 2-3% of healthcare expenditure in the European Union (EU).
Today's announcement at the ESC Congress 2013, organised by the European Society of Cardiology in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is aimed at addressing the inefficiency in care and treatment of AF to curb the incidence of AF-related stroke through increased education efforts and public awareness.
AF Association Founder and CEO Trudie Lobban MBE says this is a vital step to reduce the prevalence of AF-related stroke worldwide:
"We are delighted to welcome this collaboration to extend the awareness of AF risks and available treatment options for managing patients with AF who may have already suffered, or might be at risk of, AF-related stroke. We see this as an innovative alliance uniting heart and brain to redress life-limiting and potentially fatal strokes suffered due to AF, three quarters of which could be avoided.
"In Europe alone, two million people suffer a stroke each year - and this number is expected to rise considerably unless we take action now. We will be hosting a multi-disciplinary roundtable meeting with world leading experts in cardiology and neurology, along with patient representatives to develop a consensus report on optimum management of patients with AF at increased risk of stroke."
The launch of the collaboration at the ESC Congress 2013 recognises the value of uniting all those involved in AF care to improve patient outcomes and reduce AF-related stroke risk.
Global Chief Medical Officer for Boston Scientific, Keith Dawkins, M.D., explained the importance of joining forces with the AF Association:
"Our mission to improve lives through medical innovation complements efforts to enhance access to quality healthcare and educational opportunities. We value the work of the AF Association in increasing awareness and understanding of AF risks. At the same time, we continue to develop technology solutions to address AF-related stroke. Together, we aim ultimately to lower the impact of this disease on patients' lives."
We believe that this joint effort will be instrumental in raising awareness about World Stroke Day (29 October 2013) and sharing key messages through educational events and resources for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. One of these significant events will be AF Aware Week (24-30 November 2013), which will be the first week-long global initiative to promote better understanding of AF.
About AF Association
The AF Association is an international charity established in 2007 following requests from arrhythmia patients seeking support on this heart rhythm disorder. There are tens of thousands of members and 30 affiliated groups worldwide.
The charity is spearheading campaigns to make AF a healthcare priority, including international AF Aware Week, a global petition; Sign Against Stroke, and national initiatives to improve detection and treatment of AF.
The Association has developed an exclusive web portal for healthcare professionals: The Heart of AF, which provides guidelines and care pathways to promote best practice in AF care, as well as a patient information website: http://www.afa-international.org
- Based on AF prevalence (1%) cited in Miyasaka, Y. et al, Circulation 2006; 114; 119-125
- Miyasaka, Y. et al, Circulation 2006; 114; 119-125
- AF Association and ACE, The AF Report, 2006, London
- Lin HJ et al. Stroke 1996;27:1760-4
- Kirchhof , P. et al, How can we avoid a stroke crisis? Working Group Report: Stroke prevention in patients with A, 2009, Oxford PharmaGenesis Ltd
- The AF Association provides support, information and guidance to anyone affected by atrial fibrillation (AF). It works in partnership with patients and clinical experts to advance the education of both the medical profession and the general public on the risks, detection and treatment of AF.
SOURCE: AF Association
For further information:
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Raj Bilkhu, PR and Communications Associate at the AF Association on +44(0)1789-520-312, +44(0)787-8918033 or email [email protected]