AF Aware Week

20 - 26 November 2017

AF Aware Week helps raise awareness of atrial fibrillation and this year highlights the importance of detecting via a simple pulse check, protecting against AF-related stroke through the use of appropriate anticoagulation and ultimately correcting the heart rhythm.

Key Messages 

1. One in four people will develop AF; it affects an estimated 1.5 million  across the UK and in excess of 16 million worldwide.

2. Every 15 seconds someone suffers an AF-related stroke. AF is the most powerful single risk factor for suffering a deadly or debilitating stroke.

3. AF can be detected cheaply and easily with simple manual pulse checks.

4. Treatment with an anticoagulant is vital to reducing the risk of stroke.

5. For AF Aware Week, make the detection and protection of AF a priority. 

The aims of AF Aware Week are simple: 


A simple pulse check is the easiest way to detect the irregular heart rhythm. The importance of pulse checks should be widely publicised and undertaken both inside and outside of medical practices.


AF is the single most relevant risk factor for stroke, increasing an individual's risk five-fold and being responsible for at least 20% of all ischaemic strokes. AF-related strokes have the worst prognosis for severe disabling and mortality rates.

Identifying and treating AF at an early stage will deliver significant health and cost benefits. 


Early detection, diagnosis and appropriate medical management leads to fewer appointments and admissions, saving individuals from long term ill-health. Information regarding AF risks, symptoms and therapy options should be routinely made available to all suspected and diagnosed patients and their carers.

Patients should be monitored and reviewed within four weeks of initiation of therapy and referred for specialist consideration if first line therapy has not sufficiently improved symptoms.

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