Heart Health

HEART HEALTH MATTERS: NEW RESEARCH SHOWS MAJORITY OF AMERICAS IN THE
DARK ABOUT SEVERITY OF HEART RHYTHM DISORDERS

The Heart Rhythm Society Offers Patient Tips + Tools during Heart Health
Month

According to a new survey issued by the Heart Rhythm Society, the majority of Americans are unaware of two serious and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm disorders, atrial fibrillation (AF) and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). In fact, only one in three Americans have ever heard of AF or recognize the number of lives claimed each year from SCA. Throughout February, Heart Health Month, the
Heart Rhythm Society spotlights the need for public education on heart
rhythm disorders affecting millions of people, and the specialists best
suited to treat them – electrophysiologists.

More than 250,000 deaths occur each year as a result of SCA, more than
breast cancer, lung cancer or AIDs. Yet, according to the recent survey,
more than 65 percent of Americans not only underestimate the seriousness
of SCA, but also believe SCA is a type of heart attack. While this
current data does show a 5 percent increase since the Society’s 2008 SCA
awareness survey, the lack of awareness remains high and further
education is needed. Additionally, more than 2 million people in the
United States (U.S.) live with AF. Yet, survey results showed only 50
percent of Americans know AF is a type of heart rhythm disorder.

“The Heart Rhythm Society is committed to helping educate the public
about heart health and creating the best possible environment to improve
long-term patient care,” said Bruce L. Wilkoff, MD, FHRS, CCDS,
president of Heart Rhythm Society. “We want people to become more aware
of the life-threatening heart rhythm conditions affecting millions of
Americans every day, those that go beyond heart attacks or other
well-known types of heart disease. Heart Health Month is a great time to
spread the word.”

The Heart Rhythm Society has developed two consumer awareness
initiatives to focus on risk assessment, prevention and treatment of SCA
and AF. The “Apples and Oranges” campaign explains the differences
between SCA and a heart attack, while the “A-Fib Feels Like” campaign
brings to light the warning signs of AF and the link between AF and
stroke. Altogether, these campaigns provide detailed information to help
people become more informed about common heart health issues and the
field of electrophysiology.

Know Your Risk: Heart Rhythm Society Prevention Pulse Points
During Heart Health Month, take a close look at heart health and five
simple ways to help prevent and seek early treatment for these common
heart conditions.

*       Small Choices, Big Heart Benefits: Live a healthy lifestyle -
exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, maintain a healthy weight and
avoid smoking to help reduce the chances of heart health problems.
*       Know Your Rhythm: Pay attention to abnormal heart rhythms -
palpitations, fast heart rates, really slow heart rates, fluttering in
your chest and shortness of breath can also be signs of rhythm
disorders.
*       By The Numbers: Treat and monitor health conditions that can
contribute to heart problems, including high blood pressure, high
cholesterol and diabetes.
*       Family First: Know your family medical history and understand
the associated risk for other cardiovascular related conditions, like
heart failure.
*       Don’t Skip A Beat: Document your symptoms and discuss them with
a clinician/electrophysiologist to determine the best treatment options
for you.
*       Learn More Online: Visit our website, www.HRSonline.org for
interactive tips and tools, patient resources and more.

Gain Unique Insights: New Educational Videos Show Real World Impact of
AF & SCA
The Society has issued its first ever patient education video series as
a resource to address the common misperceptions around heart rhythm
disorders. The videos use a mix of real-world footage and animation to
help patients and caregivers understand AF and SCA, including the
warning signs, treatment options and a symptom tracker. Check out the
new videos to learn more: AF Patient Education Video and SCA Patient
Education Video.

“We must continue to raise the bar when it comes to educating people
about their heart health,” added Dr. Wilkoff. “It is not only important
for people to better understand common heart rhythm disorders, but also
to know more about the doctors who treat them, called
electrophysiologists.”

What is an Electrophysiologist?
There is a special type of heart doctor that treat patients with heart
rhythm problems-called an electrophysiologist. Electrophysiologists are
cardiologists with advanced medical training to treat problems with the
heart’s electrical system, which result in heart rhythm disorders. The
electrophysiologist can also help you learn if you or your family
members are at risk for life-threatening rhythm disturbances, including
SCA and AF. Find one near you by going here.

For more information about the Heart Rhythm Society and resources please
visit, www.HRSonline.org.

*******************************************************************
About the Heart Rhythm Society
The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science,
education and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and
patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm
disorders. Its mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting
research, education and optimal health care policies and standards.
Incorporated in 1979 and based in Washington, DC, it has a membership of
more than 5,400 heart rhythm professionals in more than 72 countries
around the world. www.hrsonline.org

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Heart Health

  1. Pingback: HRS Picks: Many Americans in the Dark about Heart Rhythm Disorders « EP Insights

  2. Lisa Ladrido

    I didn’t realize the statistics were that high for SCA. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. More people need to hear about it and recognize the symptoms.

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