World Thrombosis Day Experts Publish New Paper on Low Global Public Awareness of Atrial Fibrillation & Link to Stroke
October 25th, 2017
The World Thrombosis Day campaign, led by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), today released a new paper in Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis (RPTH) that reveals global public awareness of atrial fibrillation (AFib) is low at 48 percent worldwide compared with other medical conditions. Additionally, just 36 percent of survey respondents were aware of the connection between AFib and stroke. Click here to read the paper.
AFib is a common type of arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, causing the heart's upper chamber to beat out of rhythm. This can cause pooling of the blood, ultimately leading to clot formation. If that clot breaks free, it can lodge in an artery, travel to the brain and result in a stroke.
The paper, published by the World Thrombosis Day Scientific Steering Committee, shares the following key findings from the recent survey:
- Across the 10 countries surveyed, AFib awareness ranged from 25 percent to 69 percent.
- 48 percent of global respondents were aware of AFib, compared with 67 percent of U.S. respondents.
- Only 36 percent of respondents identified stroke as a consequence of AFib.
- Awareness of AFib risk factors ranged from 8 percent (asthma) to 52 percent (high blood pressure).
- Of those who reported awareness of AFib, 82 percent correctly identified palpitations as a symptom.
With the approach of World Stroke Day on 29 October, the findings of the paper underscore the importance of improving public awareness of AFib as an important risk factor for stroke. Additionally, an increase in awareness can empower the public and patients to seek care so that AFib can be diagnosed and treated to lower the risk of stroke.