Heart Rhythm Society to Host Free “What AFib Feels Like” Event in San Francisco

Campaign to Raise Public Awareness of Atrial Fibrillation, the Most Common Heart Disorder that Affects 2.5 Million Americans

May 07, 2014

Media Contact

Ken Demith
Heart Rhythm Society

SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON—The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science, education and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, has launched a citywide awareness campaign in San Francisco to improve knowledge about symptoms, warning signs and available treatment options for atrial fibrillation (also known as AF or AFib), the most prevalent type of irregular heartbeat that impacts approximately 2.5 million people in the U.S.

The free patient education event is set to take place at Crocker Galleria on Wednesday, May 7 from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. PDT, in conjunction with the organization’s 35th Annual Scientific Sessions being held at the Moscone Center (May 7-10). The patient education event will arm attendees with information that will help them lead heart-healthy lifestyles and understand the common association between AFib and other prevalent medical conditions, including diabetes, stroke, chronic lung diseases and obstructive sleep apnea.

What: The public is invited to Crocker Galleria to learn about the signs, symptoms and treatment options for AFib. This one-of-a-kind event will offer attendees an opportunity to take a
FREE cardiovascular risk assessment, have their heart rhythms measured, and meet one-on-one with physicians, allied health professionals and experts to discuss their own
risk factors.

The event will also feature two FREE 30-minute yoga sessions starting at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to practice relaxation techniques and teach attendees about ways to live a
healthier life, which can in turn create a healthier heart. At 1:00 p.m. attendees can hear from the founder of StopAfib.org, who will share her experience with AFib and tips for
coping and advocating for yourself.

Attendees can also enter a free raffle for a chance to win prizes, including a heart healthy cookbook, gift certificates from Break Point Massage, Project Juice, EOS Sleep and
much more.

Where: Crocker Galleria
50 Post Street (at Montgomery)

When: Wednesday, May 7
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. PDT

Why: Despite affecting more than 2.5 million people in the United States, only 50 percent of Americans recognize AFib as a type of heart rhythm disorder. AFib can also increase the r
risk of stroke fivefold and is estimated to be responsible for 88,000 deaths and $16 billion in additional costs to the U.S. health care system. These findings point to a critical
need for increased consumer education and awareness of this serious heart rhythm condition.

“While atrial fibrillation affects more than 2.5 million people in the U.S., many people don’t recognize the symptoms and fully understand the condition’s connection to other prevalent medical conditions they may already have like diabetes, chronic lung disease and obstructive sleep apnea,” said Hugh Calkins, MD, FHRS, CCDS, president of the Heart Rhythm Society. “Education is crucial in helping patients recognize and understand AFib symptoms earlier in the process to prevent more serious consequences from occurring and to learn about what lifestyle changes can be beneficial to make. This event has been well-received in other host cities, and we’re excited to bring this awareness event to the Bay Area.”

The HRS San Francisco Citywide Awareness Campaign is made possible by contributions from sponsors, including AliveCor, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , Boston Scientific Corporation, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., eCardio, iRhythm Technologies, Inc., Medtronic and Janssen. Event partners include StopAfib.org, SADS Foundation, University of California, San Francisco, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, Stanford University, and the Global Atrial Fibrillation Alliance.

About Cardiac Arrhythmias and Atrial Fibrillation
Cardiac arrhythmias, or abnormal heartbeats, affect more than five million Americans and can be an important signal that something more serious is going on in a person’s heart. However, despite their prevalence and importance, arrhythmias are often misunderstood, mischaracterized and even misdiagnosed.

AFib is the most prevalent type of irregular heartbeat and impacts more than 2.5 million people in the U.S. The condition occurs when the electrical impulses in the atria (upper chambers of the heart) become erratic, replacing the normal rhythm. This causes the atria to quiver instead of beat, leading to poor blood flow and loss of synchrony between the chambers. AFib is characterized by a rapid and irregular heartbeat, sometimes faster than 200 times per minute, and while the condition is not in and of itself dangerous, if left untreated, the side effects potentially can be life threatening. In addition, the condition can severely depreciate an individual's quality of life, causing heart palpitations, chronic fatigue and debilitating pain. For more information about AFib, symptoms, risk factors, prevention, and treatment, please visitour AFib Awareness PSA or visit www.myAFib.org.

About the Heart Rhythm Society

The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science, education, and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders. Its mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting research, education, and optimal health care policies and standards. Incorporated in 1979 and based in Washington, DC, it has a membership of more than 6,000 heart rhythm professionals in more than 72 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.HRSonline.org.