Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a common type of irregular heartbeat that puts people at greater risk of having a stroke and the prevalence of AFib is higher in people aged 65 and older.1Further, AFib is projected to affect around 12 million Americans by 2030.3 Yet, a Harris Poll survey of 1,010 U.S. adults fielded on behalf of the Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance showed the majority of people over the age of 40 are unfamiliar with the condition.4
September marks AFib Awareness Month and Matter of Moments, an AFib educational initiative supported by the Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance, is committed to raising awareness of the condition and the related stroke risk, especially during this month. Why “Matter of Moments?” Because the lives of individuals, as well as their family and friends, can be affected by AFib-related stroke in a matter of moments.
For the past year, the Alliance has continued to bring together key voices in the AFib conversation - health care professionals, advocacy organization representatives and patients – for a five-article series across Yahoo! Lifestyle platforms with the goal of helping more people learn about AFib, its connection to stroke, and how to be prepared to discuss these topics with their doctor if they are at a higher risk of developing the condition.
“It’s important to know about AFib and the risk of stroke. But in my experience many people don’t know about AFib. Because those with AFib have approximately five times greater risk of having a stroke than those without the condition, more education is needed to understand AFib and its relation to stroke,” explained Andrea Russo, MD, immediate past-president of the Heart Rhythm Society, in an interview for the series.
Mellanie True Hills, CEO of StopAfib.org, patient advocate and founder of AFib Awareness Month, shared her own experience with AFib in the first article: "When I was in AFib, my heart felt like a flopping fish or an unbalanced washing machine in my chest," she said. "But some people may not experience any of the usual AFib symptoms, or even have any symptoms at all.
Check out the following articles to learn more about the condition and be better prepared for conversations with your doctor about AFib and the connection to stroke risk:
- The heart in Atrial Fibrillation – A look inside shows how the condition may lead to stroke
- Why aging women should also think twice about potential atrial fibrillation (AFib) symptoms.
- Over 65? 5 questions you may want to ask your doctor about atrial fibrillation (AFib) and stroke risk.
- Why aging adults should keep atrial fibrillation (AFib) in mind during routine doctor’s visits
- Who is at risk for atrial fibrillation, or AFib, and why does it matter?
About The Matter of Moments Survey
This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of the Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance among 1,010 U.S. adults 40+ and 500 atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients ages 40+ between May 9 and May 28, 2019. Figures for age by gender, education, income, race/ethnicity, region, size of household, marital status, and employment status were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in their respective population. Learn more about the survey findings.
About Matter of Moments
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is projected to impact approximately 8.4 million people in the United States in 2020.3 Furthermore, AFib increases risk of stroke.1,4 Through the Matter of Moments initiative, the Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance aims to drive awareness of AFib and the associated risk of stroke by collaborating with expert healthcare professionals and advocacy organizations to provide resources that will help those at risk and their loved ones take charge of their health by talking to their doctor. To learn more, visit the Matter of Moments website.
- January CT, Wann LS, Calkins H, et al. 2019 AHA/ACC/HRS focused update of the 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guideline for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. Circulation. 2019;140:e125-e15
- Colilla S, et al. Estimates of current and future incidence and prevalence of atrial fibrillation in the U.S. adult population. Am J Cardiol. 2013;112:1142–1147.
- Pfizer/BMS MoM Survey conducted by The Harris Poll, May 2019
- Wolf PA, Abbott RD, Kannel WB. Atrial fibrillation is an independent risk factor for stroke: The Framingham Study. Stroke. 1991;22(8):983-988.