DALLAS, Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Atrial fibrillation (also called afib or AF) is an irregular heartbeat (or heart rhythm) and is a much more serious condition than many patients – and their family members – realize. Many patients don't know about the risk of stroke, according to StopAfib.org, a leading global atrial fibrillation patient organization. Having afib increases your stroke risk by 500 percent. Of those who have afib, 1 out of 3 will have a stroke in their lifetime. In addition, afib can lead to heart failure, dementia, and even Alzheimer's disease.
What you don't know about afib could kill you. What's worse: you or your loved one may have afib and not know it.
September is the seventh annual Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, and to raise awareness about the condition, the StopAfib.org non-profit organization has launched a newly updated YouTube channel with a new video to explain the condition and show what steps you can take to fight this life-changing condition. Visit http://www.youtube.com/stopafib to view the Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month video, and pass along the link to friends and family members. You might just save a life.
The StopAfib.org YouTube channel also features interviews from medical conferences with some of the world's leading atrial fibrillation specialists. These leading-edge experts bring patients information about the latest treatments and directions as well as what patients need to know about this all-too-common condition.
Today, more than 5 million Americans have afib, and by 2030, as many as 17 million people may have it. About 350,000 hospitalizations a year in the U.S. are attributed to afib. In addition, people over the age of 40 have a one in four chance of developing afib in their lifetime.
Once considered benign, this irregular heartbeat, also called a cardiac arrhythmia, doubles the risk of heart-related death. Stroke is the fourth most common cause of death in America and the number one cause of permanent disability. Afib results in Medicare and health care costs that are spiraling out of control as it overtakes the increasing wave of aging Baby Boomers.
About two-thirds of those who have it can feel their afib. It can feel like a racing heartbeat, or butterflies, or like a fish flopping around in your chest. But about one-third of those with afib don't know they have it. Often, they don't find out until they go for surgery or a procedure, or even worse, until after they've had a stroke.
StopAfib.org leads the efforts in educating and informing patients and their loved ones about this potentially deadly condition. In addition to creating a website with vast resources for afib patients, the non-profit organization has raised awareness about afib on Capitol Hill. The founder of StopAfib.org has followed Barry Manilow at the podium in front of members of Congress to raise awareness of atrial fibrillation and to ask for support for the Atrial Fibrillation Resolution.
This momentum continues during Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month in September. StopAfib.org is also asking you to sign the Global Atrial Fibrillation Charter. Simply go to www.StopAfib.org and sign the Charter, in the lower right of the page. It only takes a moment to add your voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have already signed.
While you're at StopAfib.org, take time to learn more about afib and afib-related strokes and how they affect you and your family – just click on the Get Started Learning About Atrial Fibrillation button to access a wealth of resources. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest afib news and learn about upcoming patient events where you can meet afib experts and learn how to get in rhythm, and stay in rhythm.
The mission of StopAfib.org – for patients by patients – is to improve the quality of life for patients and their families, support the doctor-patient relationship, and wipe out afib-related strokes worldwide. It provides information about atrial fibrillation symptoms, causes, risks, treatments, resources, and the latest afib news and videos. The StopAfib forum also gives readers the tools to receive emotional support and stimulate discussions.
Now the No. 1 Arrhythmia site on the Internet and in the Top 5 Heart Disease sites, StopAfib.org has received the HON Code Certification from the Health on the Net Foundation, signifying a credible, trustworthy medical web site.
StopAfib.org CEO and founder Mellanie True Hills is also the author of A Woman's Guide to Saving Her Own Life and has been featured in the NY Times, Washington Post, USA Weekend, AOL.com, and in Heart-Healthy Living, More, and Success magazines.
For more information, visit www.StopAfib.org.
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