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Misconceptions about atrial fibrillation (AF) are common among people nationwide, according to a recent survey by the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS). More than half (56 percent) of Americans do not know that AF puts someone at a high risk of having a stroke. People are more likely to assume high risk related to other common factors like smoking, eating fried or fatty foods or drinking a lot of alcohol. HRS calls on San Diego residents to learn the truth about AF and encourages those who suffer from the disorder to talk to their doctors about their increased risk for stroke.

A new study shows how specific factors such as gender, age and mood disorders like anxiety and depression can lead patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) to inaccurately assess their heart rhythm. The study, published in the April edition of HeartRhythm, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), is the first-of-its-kind to evaluate demographics, health status and heart monitor data to identify specific factors that predict inaccuracies. Patients with persistent AF, women, older adults and those diagnosed with anxiety or depression were most likely to have inaccurate perceptions by either over-or-underestimating their AF symptoms.