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Tackling global AF stroke risk

We are proud to announce a collaboration with the World Stroke Organization and Boston Scientific Corporation, a global leader in innovative medical technology, to improve awareness of the most common heart rhythm disorder in the world, atrial fibrillation (AF).

More than 71 million people across the world are affected by AF, which is associated with:

  • a high risk of heart failure, cognitive dysfunction, premature death
  • the single biggest cardiovascular cause of stroke, increasing risk by up to 500%.

AF-related strokes are more severe, more disabling and result in higher mortality compared to non-AF strokes. Not only is the impact on individuals and their families detrimental, the economic burden of AF stroke is huge, accounting for 2-3% of healthcare expenditure in the European Union (EU).

The announcement at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2013 in Amsterdam, is aimed at addressing the inefficiency in care and treatment of AF to curb the incidence of AF-related stroke through increased education efforts and public awareness.

AF Association Founder and CEO, Trudie Lobban MBE says this is a vital step to reduce the prevalence of AF-related stroke worldwide:

“We are delighted to welcome this collaboration to extend the awareness of AF risks and available treatment options for managing patients with AF who may have already suffered, or might be at risk of, AF-related stroke. We see this as an innovative alliance uniting heart and brain to redress life-limiting and potentially fatal strokes suffered due to AF, three quarters of which could be avoided.

The launch of the collaboration at the ESC Congress 2013 recognises the value of uniting all those involved in AF care to improve patient outcomes and reduce AF-related stroke risk.

Global Chief Medical Officer for Boston Scientific, Keith Dawkins, M.D., explained the importance of joining forces with the AF Association:

“Our mission to improve lives through medical innovation complements efforts to enhance access to quality healthcare and educational opportunities. We value the work of the AF Association in increasing awareness and understanding of AF risks. At the same time, we continue to develop technology solutions to address AF-related stroke. Together, we aim ultimately to lower the impact of this disease on patients’ lives.”


Dr John Foran, a Consultant Cardiologist from Royal Brompton Hospital in London, explained how alternative treatments, such as the left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) have faired against oral anticoagulants. He has been performing the procedure in London and found promising success rates to prevent AF-related stroke in patients,




We believe that this joint effort will be instrumental in raising awareness about World Stroke Day (29 October 2013) (World Stroke Organization Vice President, Prof Dr Natan Bornstein pictured) and sharing key messages through educational events and resources for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. One of these significant events will be AF Aware Week (24-30 November 2013), which will be the first week-long global initiative to promote better understanding of AF.



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