KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The "World Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Day" was commemorated on September 12th across the globe. Several cities organized Atrial Fibrillation related awareness events. AF Awareness Yoga sessions, Run/Walk programs took place in Kansas City, Tulsa, Scottsdale, Little Rock, and Hyderabad with a focus on patient education, promoting research and access to better care. Global Atrial Fibrillation Alliance Foundation (www.global-af-alliance.org) has worked closely with several professional organizations, physicians and hospitals to bring the AF education to the forefront through World AF Awareness Day. It strives to create increased awareness amongst general public about this most common heart rhythm condition that affects more than 20 million people in the world and is a major cause of stroke, heart failure and heart attacks.
The University of Kansas Hospitals VP for Cardiac services presented the Global Atrial Fibrillation Alliance Physician and Patient awards. Dr. Andrea Natale, Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute received the Physician ambassador of the year award for his patient directed educational directives. Mr. Shannon Dickson, editor for "The afib Report," received the patient ambassador award.
The events in KC included a short Yoga session with breathing and relaxation and asanas followed by a 5K Run/Walk. Several participants, including young children, patients, physicians and pets, participated in the walk. In his statement, Dr. Dhanunjaya (DJ) Lakkireddy, Founder of GAFA, stressed the urgent need for AF education on the global front, "Atrial Fibrillation is an increasingly prevalent global illness that affects millions of people. It imposes an incredible personal, social and economic burden by causing heart attacks, strokes and congestive heart failure. Tackling this problem requires an enormous amount of public education, early treatment and appropriate access to care."
Oklahoma Heart Institute will host a community event partnering with their City Council as part of a Women's Empowerment Series in recognition of World Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Day on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at Whiteside Park in Tulsa Oklahoma. Dr. David Sandler will do a short presentation about Atrial Fibrillation (symptoms, treatment options and the benefit of yoga for AF and general health and wellness). There will then be a free one-hour yoga class, BMI and blood pressure screenings during this event.
Little Rock Arkansas held its second annual World Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Day 5K Family Fun Run & Walk on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 at the North Shore River Walk in North Little Rock, Ark. They had over 120 people participate in the event. Governor Asa Hutchison provided a proclamation declaring September Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month.
"The event is designed to increase awareness about the most common abnormal heart rhythm and promote healthy lifestyles for people living with atrial fibrillation," said Raj Chakka, M.D., cardiologist & electrophysiologist, who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of rapid and abnormal heart rhythms at CHI St. Vincent Heart Clinic Arkansas and the Jack Stephens Heart Institute at CHI St. Vincent Infirmary.
"AFib patients may need to take medication to reduce the risk of blood clots for their entire lives, even after the heart rhythm is restored, to reduce the risk of stroke. AFib patients' risk for stroke is five times higher than someone without AFib. The rapid heartbeat allows blood to swirl and pool in the top chamber of the heart, which can cause clots to form. If the clot gets dislodged and goes to the brain, it will lead to a stroke," Chakka said. "But with treatment and a healthy lifestyle AFib patients can have very active lives and can run, bike, swim or do just about any other physical activity."
About GAFA: Global Atrial Fibrillation Alliance (GAFA) Foundation leads worldwide efforts in creating improved awareness for early detection, treatment and prevention of Atrial Fibrillation (AF). Global AF Alliance, a public not for profit patient-physician-industry partnership (501-c3) whose goal is to improve awareness, access to care for patients with atrial fibrillation. Several prominent electrophysiologists, surgeons, and other thought leaders are an active part of this organization. This organization also strives towards a global fund raising effort to support important clinical and basic research in atrial fibrillation through professional bodies like the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), American College of Cardiology (ACC) Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS) and European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA).
Contact: Donita Atkins
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SOURCE Global Atrial Fibrillation Alliance