AF Association News & Events
AF Association launches East Anglia Regional Support Group
The world’s only charity supporting patients with heart rhythm disorders has established a new regional support group in East Anglia in an effort to increase awareness and detection of the most common cardiac arrhythmia that causes the most life-threatening strokes.
The Atrial Fibrillation Association is the only charity globally that focuses solely on the most common of cardiac arrhythmias - Atrial Fibrillation (AF), a condition which without adequate anticoagulation can result in severe disabling, and often fatal strokes. In the absence of a national screening programme for AF, the charity seeks to tirelessly raise understanding in knowing how to check your pulse for irregularities, including using novel technology such as AliveCor single-lead ECG devices that are amongst the most accurately available.
Ben Lord, Regional Ambassador for AF Association – East Anglia Support Group said “Three years ago, I lost my Grandad to an avoidable AF-related stroke and for the past two years, increased my understanding of AF to provide effective awareness raising of this condition within my local area. Having seen how underperforming East Anglia is in detecting AF and preventing entirely avoidable strokes, I am delighted to be forming this support group with like-minded individuals where we’re motivated beyond measure to continue the excellent work that has been done in our locality right across East Anglia to save other families from enduring what mine has.”
Over 500,000 people across the UK have undiagnosed AF, which is often asymptomatic. As the Government maintains a position of “business as usual” for the NHS, Arrhythmia Alliance is using it’s Global AF Awareness Week to stress the importance of knowing your pulse and if you feel it is irregular, to not hesitate in seeking help from your GP. Although the world’s population continues to follow the various restrictions caused by COVID-19, people have continued to suffer avoidable AF-related strokes throughout this pandemic.
Trudie Lobban MBE, CEO of the AF Association, said: “We are delighted about the formation of the East Anglia Support Group to help increase awareness of Atrial Fibrillation in the region. During this difficult year, it is more important than ever for people to be aware of their heart rhythm through a simple 30-second pulse check (for more information visit, www.knowyourpulse.org.)”
“We are concerned that people may not be seeking support from their GP for fear of overwhelming the NHS or contracting the virus. However, we are urging those who are concerned about palpitations and possible atrial fibrillation not to put off seeking advice because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to remember that the NHS is there to protect all patients, not only those with COVID-19, and the service remains open for business.”
Professor John Cannon, Lead Medical Advisor to the newly formed AF Association – East Anglia Support Group commented “There is a large burden of undetected AF in the community particularly in the Over 65s and especially with co morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease and/or obesity. AF increases the risk of stroke by 500% and heart failure by 300% and if caught early by a combination of anticoagulation and rate controlled therapy will see a large number of strokes, deaths and heart failure avoided. It is extraordinarily easy to diagnose as I often do in appointments unrelated to cardiac problems. I would urge everyone to be aware of their pulse and ask for help if there is an irregularity.”