Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Patient Officer at Pfizer is continuing the conversation about Atrial fibrillation –or AFib.
Atrial fibrillation –otherwise known as AFib –is a common type of arrhythmia, or condition in which the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way.
- This irregular heart beat–which can sometimes feel like there’s a flutter or a palpitation in your chest –makes it hard for the heart to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.
- AFib isn’t just a threat to your heart. In this condition,blood may not completely pump out of the heart and may pool, causing blood clots in your heart. The clot can be pumped out of the heart and can travel to the brain. The clot can block off blood supply in the brain,which can then lead to a stroke.
- Patients with AFib have up to a five times greater chance for stroke than those with regular heartbeats. AFib-related strokes are often more severe than non-AFib related strokes.
- If AFib goes undetected or untreated, it can lead to life-threatening complications. While Atrial Fibrillation is a significant risk factor for stroke, it can go undetected and many may not be familiar with the condition.
- Results from a new national survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults aged 40 and older conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Matter of Moments, which is an initiative by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pfizer Alliance,found that nearly two thirds(61%)of adults 40 and older are not familiar with AFib.
- Out of undiagnosed adults 40 and older with one or more risk factorsfor AFib, 89% may not believe or aren’t sure they are at risk for AFib.
- Age is a major risk factor for developing AFib –especially if you’re over 65.2. Other risk factors for AFib include but are not limited to a History of high blood pressure, Heart disease, Obesity, and chronic conditions such as thyroid problems, diabetes,asthma, sleep apnea, or excessive drinking.
What do African American listeners need to know about AFib?
- They need to know that the risk of stroke may be elevated.
- Further, African Americans with AFib are more likely to have complications such as stroke, heart failure, or heart disease.
- In an analysis of ~3500 patients who developed AFib, results suggest that compared to Caucasians with AFib, African Americans with the condition have a higher risk of stroke –both before and after their AFib diagnosis.
Folks can learn more about AFib-related stroke risk by speaking with their doctors and by visiting AMatterofMoments.com