Atrial Fibrillation — also known as AFib or AF — is the most common arrhythmia. It affects more than 2.5 million American adults and 4.5 million people living in the European Union, and accounts for approximately one-third of hospitalizations for cardiac rhythm disturbances.
It is characterized by a rapid and irregular heartbeat caused when the top chambers of the heart (the atria) quiver (fibrillate) erratically, sometimes faster than 200 times per minute. The condition can have a significant negative impact on an individual's quality of life, causing heart palpitations, chronic fatigue, and debilitating pain.
AFib can also increase the risk of stroke fivefold. It is estimated to be responsible for 88,000 deaths and $16 billion in additional costs to the U.S. healthcare system. As the world population ages, the prevalence of AFib is projected to increase. In fact, in the next 30-40 years, the number of people in diagnosed with AFib in the U.S. is expected to more than double.
The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), through its efforts during Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month in September and throughout the year, is working to increase public knowledge of AFib, including its symptoms, warning signs, and available treatment options.
Many people don’t know that they live with AFib, a serious but treatable condition, emphasizing the need for more public education about AFib.
The U.S. Senate first approved a resolution in 2009 designating the month of September as Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, reinforcing the need to raise awareness and garner support for initiatives affecting AFib.
On July 29, 2011, the Senate passed by unanimous consent S. Res. 243 promoting increased awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of atrial fibrillation to address the high morbidity and mortality rates and to prevent avoidable hospitalizations associated with the disease.
The AFib Risk Assessment is an interactive tool designed to help individuals estimate their risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib). Many individuals living with AFib have no symptoms and are unaware of their condition until they are suffering from complications, which may require emergency treatment.
Learn your risk by using this online tool! It’s fast and easy — simply answer a few questions regarding your health and get your results. After you have finished using the AFib Risk Assessment, please consult with your physician regarding your results.
The Atrial Fibrillation Disease State Initiative is supported in part by educational grants from Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen, and St. Jude Medical.