Warfarin increases stroke risk in AF patients in first 30 days
BHJ, 19 Dec 2013
Patients with atrial fibrillation have nearly double the risk of suffering a stroke in the first 30 days of taking warfarin compared to non-users, according to a study of over 70,000 patients.
Irregular heartbeat tied to depression
Reuters, 13 December 2013
People with an irregular heartbeat may also be at increased risk of being depressed, suggests a new study from Germany. The added risk was small, researchers found, but it's in keeping with other studies linking heart disorders with depression.
Watchman device gets FDA nod of approval
Heartwire, 11 December 2013
A second time around the regulatory block appears to be the charm for the Watchman (Boston Scientific), an investigative device that can be used instead of warfarin to reduce the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients.
An advisory committee voted almost unanimously in favour of the novel device, voting 13 to 1 on a question that asked the experts if the Watchman's benefits outweighed any potential risks. The advisory panel, led by Dr Clyde Yancy (Northwestern University, Chicago, USA), ultimately believed the device was a safe and effective treatment to prevent the embolism of thrombus from the left atrial appendage (LAA) and to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with nonvalvular AF.
Risk of complications in children with AF
Yotta Fire,8 December 2013
Atrial fibrillation (AF), characterized by a rapid and irregular heartbeat, is the most common chronic arrhythmia in adults, but is rare in children. In one of the first studies of pediatric “lone AF” (AF without associated heart disease), researchers found a nearly 40% recurrence rate and that AF in the young is accompanied by substantial symptoms. Three patients had significant complications: one with a stroke and two with substantially impaired heart function. The researchers’ findings are published in the October issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
New anticoagulants more effective
Forbes, 5 December 2013
A very large new study finds a favourable risk-benefit for the new oral anticoagulant drugs in the setting of atrial fibrillation. The findings, published online in the Lancet, were remarkably consistent for all four of the new agents which have been fighting to replace warfarin, which was the only oral anticoagulant available for decades until the arrival of the new agents. Although warfarin is inexpensive, it has numerous interactions with other drugs and foods and requires regular monitoring and dose adjustments. The new agents can be taken once or twice a day and do not require dose changes.
Simple method to detect AF
News.am, 5 December 2013
A heart monitor may predict a risk for a disorder of the heart rhythm in humans called atrial fibrillation, according to a new study, Newsmax Health reports.
Policymakers and advocates appeal for European governments to adopt a national focus on stroke
Digital Journal, 3 December 2013
Coinciding with the World Health Organization (WHO) European Ministerial Conference on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases in Turkmenistan, MEPs, patient and physician representatives are today meeting at the European Parliament to highlight that urgent national action is required to prevent stroke.
Specific heart contractions could predict AF
Science Codex, 2 December 2013
Researchers discovered that patients who have more premature atrial contractions (PACs) detected by a routine 24-hour Holter monitor have a substantially higher risk for atrial fibrillation. PACs are premature heartbeats which originate in the atria, or the two upper chambers of the heart. A Holter monitor is a portable electronic device used to continuously monitor the electrical activity of a person's heart.
Strokes can be caused by heart disorder
South Wales Argus, 29 November 2013
A local resident is raising awareness of a heart rhythm disorder that has a high risk of causing stroke as part of an awareness week.
Update from consultation on Independence and mental wellbeing for older people
NICE, 27 November 2013
NICE has shared details of the Public Health Guidance on Independence and mental wellbeing for older people. Comments from stakeholders in the consultantion have been provided:
Third of UK unaware of stroke risk
AF Association, 25 November 2013
A survey carried out by AF Association has found a third of the British public doesn't know AF is a major cause of stroke.
Olympic gold medallist supports AF Association
AF Association, 25 November 2013
We are proud to announce our new patron!
Sudden drops in blood pressure linked to irregular heartbeat
UPI.com, 24 November 2013
U.S. researchers say they identified a possible link between a history of sudden drops in blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat.
Overweight could cut stroke risk by half
Financial, 23 November 2013
Controlling blood pressure, serum cholesterol, and blood glucose may substantially reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke associated with being overweight or obese, according to a study from a worldwide research consortium led by a team from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Imperial College London, and the University of Sydney.
Damaged blood vessels in eye and kidney early signs of risky heart rhythm
The Financial Express, 23 November 2013
People with damage in the small blood vessels of the retina and kidneys are at increased risk to develop the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm, a new study has warned.
Stroke expert calling for prevention
Malvern Gazette, 22 November 2013
A stroke expert is to campaign to Worcestershire’s NHS for better support to prevent patients suffering severe strokes which leave them with a lifelong disability.
Taking AF to the heart of Parliament
AF Association, 20 November 2013
Daiichi blood thinner safer, as effective as warfarin: study
Reuters UK, 19 November 2013
A new blood clot and stroke preventer from Daiichi Sankyo proved as effective and safer than widely used warfarin in a large, late stage trial of patients with atrial fibrillation, paving the way for it to compete with other new warfarin alternatives on the market.
AF linked to increased risk of heart attack
Health24, 5 November 2013
People with atrial fibrillation have a nearly two-fold increased risk of heart attack, and the risk is especially high in women and blacks, a new study finds.
About 3 million people in the United States have atrial fibrillation, a number expected to double in the next couple decades, said study lead author Dr Elsayed Soliman, director of the Epidemiological Cardiology Research Centre at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
World Stroke Day - Stroke victim given new lease of life
AF Association, 29 October 2013
Marking World Stroke Day we are raising awareness of the increased risk of stroke with AF. One of our patient members, Chris Banting, shares his story of being diagnosed with AF after two strokes, the latter of which was near fatal. His story highlights the growing number of young people who are suffering a stroke.
New tool to dispel aspirin myth in the prevention of stroke in AF
AF Association, 16 October 2013
A new e-learning tool to help GPs complete critical steps for revalidation is launched today at the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) Best Practice meeting. The AF Revalidation Tool is aimed at ensuring the best care for AF patients at risk of stroke.
Stroke rate has fallen by 40% since 1995, study finds
The Guardian, 12 October 2013
Increases in healthy living and improvements in prevention have resulted in a substantial drop in the rate of strokes, according to a new study.
The incidence of strokes in a large area of south London fell by almost 40% between 1995 and 2010, according to researchers from King's College in London.
World Heart Day
AF Association, 27 September 2013
A message from the CEO
Anticoagulants before heart surgery
Everyday Health, 26 September 2013
For decades, it's been standard practice for people to not take blood thinners before surgery in order to prevent excessive bleeding during or after their procedures. But recent research, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in May 2013, found that performing surgery to implant a heart-stimulating device — a pacemaker or a cardioverter defibrillator — without stopping the anticoagulant warfarin actually reduced the risk for bleeding after the operation.
Steven Reisman, MD, a cardiologist and director of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center, said that the current standard of care calls for warfarin to be stopped before surgery in those patients who are considered low-risk for stroke.
Novel procedure to treat persistent AF
Dail Mail, 16 September 2013
Surgery to treat atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm problem, often has to be repeated. A new approach may avoid this and can help even long-term cases.
Beatrice Williams, 67, a retired nurse from Wrexham, was the first person in the UK to undergo the procedure.
The keyhole CryoMaze technique in the UK appears to be particularly effective at treating persistent or long-standing atrial fibrillation. One reason it is hard to treat is that the atria develop large areas of scarring called fibrosis.
Gross misunderstanding of anticoagulation in AF
AF Association, 13 September 2013
An article in the BMJ entitled ‘Bad medicine: atrial fibrillation’ claimed the effectiveness of anticoagulation to prevent stroke in AF was overstated.
Today, a comprehensive rebuttal of these claims from our Medical Advisory Committee has been successfully acknowledged and published online in the BMJ.
Please support our efforts to get this response published in the print edition of the BMJ to highlight the importance of anticoagulation in preventing AF related stroke. You can do this by clicking the 'like' button on our letter of response.
Pharmacists should take lead on stroke prevention
PJ Online, 12 September 2013
Pharmacists should take the lead on preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), according to consultant cardiovascular pharmacist Helen Williams.
Incorporating pulse checks into routine blood pressure checks, influenza vaccination programmes and health checks are ways that Ms Williams suggested pharmacists can get involved in screening for AF.
Pulse check through finger could detect heart disease
Daily Mail, 7 September 2013
Checking the pulse in the finger could predict risk of heart disease, according to a study.
Researchers found that the finger’s pulse can measure stiffness in the aorta – a common risk factor for heart disease.
In the new procedure instrument called a transducer is placed on the finger or over the brachial artery, located inside the arm just beneath the elbow.
New warning for joint replacement patients with AF
Athritis Foundation, 6 September 2013
It’s not news that people taking blood thinners for A-fib have an increased risk for complications such as bleeding problems, slow wound healing and infection when they undergo surgery.
Catheter ablation may reduce stroke risk in atrial fibrillation patient
Cardiac Rhythm News, 5 September 2013
A first of its kind study has shown that patients with atrial fibrillation who undergo catheter ablation have a lower stroke risk than patients who do not undergo the procedure independent of CHADS2 score. The study also found that the stroke risk of atrial fibrillation patients treated with ablation was similar to patients with no history of atrial fibrillation over time.
Tackling global AF stroke risk
AF Association, 3 September 2013
At the European Society or Cardiology Congress in Amsterdam today, the AF Association is proud to announce a partnership to offer greater access and choice for AF patients at risk of AF related stroke.
Well-dressed women dying from strokes
Daily Mail, 3 September 2013
Thousands of women may be dying from heart attacks and strokes because doctors wrongly assume they are healthy just from their dress and appearance.
Women with a common heart condition are half as likely as men to be given medication that stops the blood clots that trigger heart attacks and strokes.
Researchers believe GPs and cardiologists may be fooled by make-up or clothes that flatter a body shape and disguise illness.
Blood pressure and atrial fibrillation
TeleManagement, 1 September 2013
An epidemiological study shows that pulse pressure is an important risk factor for atrial fibrillation – a 20 mm Hg increase in pulse pressure was associated with a 24% increase in the risk for developing atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is what cardiologists once described as an “irregular irregularity” of the heartbeat – in other words, the perceived rhythm from the ventricles is rapid but totally irregular. There are about 2½ million people in the USA with atrial fibrillation; it’s more common in old age, along with higher systolic pressure, diabetes, obesity, and conditions affecting the left heart ventricle.
DIY blood test could be a life-saver
The Telegraph, 30 August 2013
The Anticoagulation Self-Monitoring Alliance is campaigning for self-monitoring devices to become available on NHS prescription. The move is backed by GPs and the AF Association.
Genetics may play role in AF
Telemanagement, 24 August 2013
Children have double the risk of developing atrial fibrillation if a parent has this heart rhythm disorder, according to a study of participants in Framingham Heart Study. This is the study to find a genetic connection for atrial fibrillation in a community sample.
10,000 learn to lower stroke risk thanks to pharmacy campaign
MTG, 21 August 2013
A report published by Public Health Wales highlights the success of the "Lower Your Risk of Stroke" campaign which ran across Wales throughout May 2013.
The campaign which ran across all seven health boards was organised by Public Health Wales, Community Pharmacy Wales and the Stroke Association, and targeted over 10,000 people visiting community pharmacies.
Members of the public were asked to take part in a Medicines Use Review as they were taking medication to control their high blood pressure or because of a condition called atrial fibrillation (AF) - two of the main risk factors for stroke.
Safety of anticoagulant treatment in elderly investigated
Telemanagement, 17 August 2013
The anticoagulant, warfarin, is beneficial for older people at risk of stroke, although care must be taken to prevent bleeding. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a disturbance of the heart rhythm which carries a high risk of stroke, by forming blood clots that could travel to the brain. Treatment with warfarin, an anticoagulant, can lessen the likelihood of stroke – but at a price.
Apixaban approved in Ireland
Irish Health, 15 August 2013
The State drug costs watchdog has approved a new drug that can prevent stroke and blood clots in patients with the heart condition atrial fibrillation (AF).
This means that the drug will now be available to medical card patients and will qualify for refunds under the Drug Payments Scheme, as a result of approval by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE).
The newly-approved drug, Eliquis (generic name apixaban), is one of a group of new anticoagulants reported to be better at preventing stroke than the traditional treatment, warfarin. Two other drugs in this category have previously been approved for State schemes by the NCPE.
Aspirin prescription leads to stroke
Daily Mail, 13 August 2013
AFA member, Fiona Birdseye featured in the Daily Mail today after she suffered a stroke when she was put on aspirin. Her story demonstrates the important role of anticoagulation to prevent AF-related stroke.
Artist hopes to form new group for heart charity
EDP24, 10 August 2013
Richard Hunt hopes to teach a new collective of artists, of all ages and abilities, who can benefit from each other’s experience and talents by working together at his studio in Hindringham, near Fakenham.
But he also wants to use the venture to raise the profile of atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregularity of the heartbeat which he was diagnosed with four months ago.
Depression increases mortality in AF
Telemanagement, 10 August 2013
Depression has been associated with worse outcomes in many cardiac conditions, including congestive heart failure (CHF). A Canadian researchers report that increased symptoms of depression are linked to cardiovascular mortality in patients who have atrial fibrillation and CHF, despite optimal medical treatment.
Ageing with AF: How a loving caregiver helps
Everyday Health, 8 August 2013
Michael Donlon was only in his late fifties when he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. His wife, Sharon, has been by his side the whole time, helping him make healthy choices.
Stroke decline in AF patients who have catheter ablation
Medical Daily, 7 August 2013
While not a new procedure, catheter ablation has experienced little exposure as a viable treatment option. This is due in large part to the procedure's high cost of $80,000, which many medical facilities cannot cover, leaving individuals to often opt for blood-thinning medication to reduce the chance of stroke-causing clots. A recent three-year study of nearly 38,000 people has shown that individuals with atrial fibrillation (AF) who underwent the ablation treatment had better outcomes than people on medication alone.
AFA heads to Australia!
6 August 2013
Our umbrella organisation, Arrhythmia Alliance (The Heart Rhythm Charity) has launched in Brisbane to promote better understanding, diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from heart rhythm disorders (cardiac arrhythmias). AFA Australia is affiliated to Arrhythmia Alliance Australia.
Obesity linked to AF
NewsFix, 31 July 2013
A report from the Framingham Heart Study reveals that obese men have a 50 per cent increased risk of atrial fibrillation.
Sex after stroke
Daily Mail, 31 July 2013
New expert-drafted guidance has been released, urging doctors to give stroke and cardiac patients advice about how and when to have sex.
Guidelines suggest counselling for patients as well as a step-by-step kissing and cuddling approach to work up to having vigorous sex.
Heart attack patients with no complications can begin relations within just a week while heart bypass patients should wait around eight weeks.
I overcame heart problem to win Olympic gold in rowing
Express, 30 July 2013
Olympic rower, Tom James, reveals how he overcame AF to strike gold.
Delay in seeking stroke care costs women best treatment
AHA, 25 July 2013
Women with clot-caused strokes are less likely than men to arrive at the hospital in time to receive the best treatment, according to a European study reported in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.
Do you want all clinical trials to be published?
All Trials, 25 July 2013
Around half of all clinical trials have not been published; some trials have not even been registered.
Low heart rate during exercise linked to AF
Heart Wire, 23 July 2013
Data from a long-term prospective study of healthy, middle-aged Norwegian men suggests that a low heart rate during moderate-intensity exercise is linked with future risk of AF.
Patient finds certain foods trigger his AF
Daily Mail, 23 July 2013
David Price returned from his holiday in Malaysia feeling extremely unwell.
'I kept having attacks where my heart was racing very fast and pounding in my chest,' says retired economist David, 78, who lives in Wilmslow, Cheshire, with his wife, Vera, 80, a retired academic. It usually happened an hour or so after meals - but the attacks would eventually pass so I didn't seek medical advice while we were away.'
New study suggests that moving more may lower stroke risk
Medical Xpress, 19 July 2013
For this study, published in the journal Stroke, Michelle N. McDonnell, Ph.D., from the University of South Australia, Adelaide and her colleagues obtained data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. REGARDS is a large, long-term study funded by the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to look at the reasons behind the higher rates of stroke mortality among African-Americans and other residents living in the Southeastern United States.
AF and pregnancy - a patient story
Take a Break, 8 July 2013
Claire-Louise Longden, 39, from Canterbury reveals her experience of AF.
After being fitted with a 48-hour heart monitor that showed her heart was in normal sinus rhythm, her GP thought she had nothing to worry about.
But when she fell pregnant, the AF episodes doubled.
LARIAT procedure prevents stroke in patients who are unable to tolerate blood thinners
News Medical, 3 July 2013
Jersey Shore University Medical Center is one of only a handful of hospitals in the country offering the recent FDA-approved LARIAT Suture Delivery Device procedure. Electrophysiologists and interventional cardiologists perform this innovative procedure to help prevent stroke in patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation and are unable to take blood thinners.
NICE recruiting Chairs of new social care guidance development groups
NICE, 2 July 2013
NICE has commissioned the NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care (NCCSC), hosted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), to produce the social care guidance on the social care of older people with more than one physical or mental health long term condition in residential or community settings (“Older people with long-term conditions”). NICE has also commissioned the NCCSC to produce the social care guidance on ‘Co-ordinated transition between social care and health care services' (“Health and social care transitions”). The NCCSC is seeking to recruit two Chairs, each to lead one of these Guidance Development Groups (GDGs).
The deadline for applications for both positions is: Friday 12 July 2013
Funding for new anticoagulant
University of Cambridge, 28 Jun 2013
A new spin-out company from the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, XO1 Ltd, has raised $11 million in funding to develop a new anticoagulant drug which has the potential to save millions of lives by preventing heart attacks and strokes without causing bleeding.
The funding, from leading life science investor Index Ventures, will be used to develop ichorcumab, an antibody invented by researchers from the University and Addenbrooke’s, which targets thrombin, the enzyme responsible for blood clotting.
Catheter ablation more effective - study suggests
News Medical, 26 Jun 2013
Using catheter ablation to create complete linear lesions around pulmonary veins, proved more effective than the creation of incomplete lesions in preventing recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF), reports the GAP-AF study.
Plans considered for 2014 NICE conference
NICE, 26 June 2013
Full report on 2013 conference and plans for 2014 revealed.
New video explores how role of warfarin has changed
MedPage Today, 25 June 2013
New video explores the question: how has the role of warfarin changed with the arrival of novel oral anticoagulants?
AliveCor Heart Monitor available for iPhone5
The Wall Street Journal, 24 June 2013
AliveCor, Inc., a premier digital health company, announced today that its Heart Monitor for iPhone 4, 4S and 5 is now available for purchase in the United Kingdom and Ireland. To support the launch, the AliveCor Heart Monitor will be on display at the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) Europace 2013 meeting (booth number H3-B220) in Athens, Greece, beginning June 23. It is the first CE-marked mobile device--based ECG monitor that is used to record, display, store and transfer single-channel electrocardiogram (ECG) rhythms. It is available to medical professionals, patients, and health-conscious individuals at Amazon.co.uk.
How to recognise atrial fibrillation
The Telegraph, 18 June 2013
With six months to go before the London Olympics, rower Tom James was focused on making sure he was selected for the Games. But in December 2011, he was struck down with what he at first thought was a virus.
Mardy Fish to miss Wimbledon
Sports Mole, 15 June 2013
Mardy Fish has announced that he will not be taking part in this year's Wimbledon.The American, who is currently ranked 43rd in the world, has played just three matches since pulling out of the 2012 US Open after being diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia.
Air pollution can trigger heart arrhythmias: study
Reuters, 13 June 2013
For people with existing heart problems, exposure to high levels of air pollution can trigger the irregular heartbeats that may lead to a stroke or heart attack, according to a new study.
AF Association welcomes Haste Academy's work
AFA, 12 June 2013
The AF Association welcomes the work of Haste Academy, a charity aimed at combatting heart disease and stroke through education and public awareness. Established in 2012, the academy was set up in order to improve public awareness and GP education about conditions that lead to heart attack and stroke. It will orchestrate a public and GP atrial fibrillation awareness campaign in 2013 coinciding with the launch of a Guildford and Waverley HASTE Arrhythmia service and their 'Help yourself' campaign which advocates increasing ‘self awareness’ of common medical conditions that lead to heart disease and stroke.
Better athletes have more heart arrhythmias
The Atlantic, 12 June 2013
A Swedish study about heart arrhythmias in athletes found those who completed five or more races in a ten-year period, or who placed among the top 25% of finishers, increased their risk of developing some form of cardiac arrhythmia -- either an irregular, abnormally fast, or too slow heartbeat -- by 30%.
A mile a day goes a long way for Blackrod fundraiser
This is Lancashire, 11 June 2013
A kindhearted fundraiser has proved a mile a day goes a long way.
Colin Smith, aged 53, from Blackrod, suffers from an irregular heartbeat and helpers from The Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA) charity recommended him to walk a mile a day to keep healthy.
Join a campaign to self-monitor
ACSMA, 10 June 2013
If you are a patient on warfarin therapy, or the carer of someone who is, you will understand how much of a difference self-monitoring can make to check blood INR levels.
NHS Highland gets involved in Heart Rhythm Week!
7 June 2013
Staff at NHS Highland have been promoting and raising awareness of heart rhythm disorders during Heart Rhythm Week!
Cardioversion Specialist Nurse, Shona Fraser emphasised the importance of knowing how to check your pulse with this fantastic video filmed at the Heartbeat Centre at Raigmore Hospital.
62% of UK doesn't know what AF is
5 June 2013
As part of Heart Rhythm Week, the AF Association has worked in partnership with Bupa to release research that found 31% of people have experienced irregular heartbeat, which could be atrial fibrillation (AF). Yet 62% do not even know what it is.
Improving stroke prevention in Wirral
5 June 2013
You are invited to help improve the experiences of stroke victims and prevent stroke in Wirral.
Results of FIRM ablation without pulmonary vein isolation
StopAfib.org, 30 May 2013
In this video interview, Dr. Sanjiv Narayan talked about the PRECISE trial, the late breaking clinical trial that he presented at Heart Rhythm Society 2013. This trial looked at whether FIRM ablation alone would work. Total ablation time in the trial averaged about 20 minutes. While they are still early in follow up, the data he presented showed a success rate of just over 80% at about nine months. He also shared FIRM data that was presented at HRS by other investigators.
New European survey highlights ischaemic stroke protection as treatment priority for patients with atrial fibrillation
The Wall Street Journal, 28 May 2013
New findings from a pan-European online survey of 1,000 physicians have demonstrated that for over two thirds of physicians, preventing ischaemic stroke is the most important treatment goal for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Ischaemic stroke is the most common type of stroke suffered by patients with AF, and as such physicians across Europe have highlighted the vital need for increased awareness of the true incidence and impact in this patient population. The survey findings were announced in parallel with the European Stroke Conference in London (28th-31st May) and highlight the need for additional information and education about the risk and impact of ischaemic stroke on the lives of AF patients.
Thyroid linked to heart problem
Toronto News, 26 May 2013
A study shows that overactive thyroid can be associated with atrial fibrillation, but not with other heart problems.
DTMI, May 2013
Chris Granger MD from Duke Transnational Medicine Institute explains what atrial fibrillation is.
Systematic screening for atrial fibrillation 'better than routine GP practice'
Pulse, 14 May 2013
Systematic screening in GP practices for atrial fibrillation could identify more people with the disease than routine practice, according to a gold-standard review.
Reseachers develop new 3-D technology to treat atrial fibrillation
MedicalXpress.com, 11 May 2013
Researchers at the Intermountain Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center have developed a new 3-D technology that for the first time allows cardiologists the ability to see the precise source of atrial fibrillation in the heart – a breakthrough for a condition that affects nearly three million Americans.
Dietary antioxidants linked to reduced postoperative AF
Family Practice News, 10 May 2013
Patients undergoing cardiac surgery who ate a diet rich in antioxidants developed significantly fewer episodes of atrial fibrillation, compared with patients who consumed fewer antioxidants, in a review of 217 patients from one Italian center.
Encouraging 4 year results for Boston Scientific's Watchman device in AF patients
Forbes, 10 May 2013
Encouraging long-term results from the PROTECT AF trial comparing the Watchman left atrial appendage closure device to warfarin in atrial fibrillation patients were presented yesterday at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in Denver.
Continuous warfarin safer in ablation
Medpage, 10 May 2013
Keeping warfarin on board for an atrial fibrillation ablation procedure is safer than bridging with heparin, a randomised trial showed.
Guildford pulse checks find 15 people with AF
AF Association, 20 April 2013
Thanks to the Guildford Rotary Club who held a pulse and blood pressure awareness event today!
A total of 350 pulses were checked, 15 people had AF and one young girl was detected with atrial tachycardia.
This proves how important it is to know your pulse. It is the easiest and quickest way to detect heart rhythm disorders, like AF.
Thousands receive inadequate stroke treatment
AF Association, 19 April 2013
AF Association welcomes findings that, in 2012, more patients received vital anticoagulation treatment than ever before in the UK. Yet, about 50% of all AF patients are still prescribed aspirin despite overwhelming evidence that it is inadequate for stroke risk prevention in AF. Many doctors continue to prescribe aspirin instead of an anticoagulant because of the misconception over safety.
The latest from AntiCoagulation Self-Monitoring Alliance (ACSMA)
ACSMA, April 2013
Read about what ACSMA has been up to in 2013 so far. The alliance comprises of four charities; AF Association, AntiCoagulation Europe (ACE), the Children's Heart Federation and the Mechanical Heart Valve Support Group, as well as the healthcare company; Roche.
New ECG app available to AF Association members!
11 April 2013
The AliveCor Heart Monitor phone app is being offered to AF Association members before it is officially launched in the UK.
New Drugs Better Value Than Warfarin
medpagetoday.com, 9 April 2013
The three newest anticoagulants -- dabigatran (Pradaxa), apixaban (Eliquis), and rivaroxaban (Xarelto) -- are cost-effective relative to warfarin for preventing stroke in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, researchers found.
A new role for NICE in social care
NICE, 1 April 2013
From 1st April 2013 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) assumed new responsibilities for developing guidance and quality standards for adult and children’s social care.
Electrode vest gives hope to heart rhythm patients
BBC, 29 March 2013
Doctors are using special vests to precisely diagnose abnormal heart rhythms, in the first UK tests of their kind.
Cardiologists from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in west London say the vests have enabled them to successfully treat more patients.
They hope the technology could eventually help more people suffering from heart palpitations.
Our sister charity, the Arrythmia Alliance, described the tests as a "fantastic development".
Free pulse and blood pressure check!
Rotary Club of Guildford and AF Association, March 2013
Have your pulse and blood pressure checked during your weekly shop at Tesco in Guildford, Surrey on Saturday 20th April 9am-5pm. High blood pressure and atrial fibrillation are major risk factors for stroke. A simple pulse check and blood pressure check can detect if you are at risk.
Plans for new world-class cardiac centre for AF care
AF Association, 27 March 2013
One of the largest heart rhythm centres in the world will be created in the UK if plans to merge the cardiovascular services of two London hospitals are given the go ahead.
AF Association welcomes research into alternative therapies for AF
AF Association, 22 March 2013
AF Association welcomes findings that yoga and acupressure can help some people with the most common heart rhythm disorder in the UK; atrial fibrillation (AF).
New phone app to detect AF
AliveCor, March 2013
A new smartphone app will soon be available in the UK, which could help detect or monitor heart rhythm disorders, like AF.
Person-centred approach is vital in hypertension
NICE, 20 March 2013
NICE published a new quality standard for the management of hypertension (high blood pressure) in adults, advocating that a person-centred approach is fundamental in delivering high-quality care to adults with the condition.
AF is harder to live with for women
Medscape, March 2013
Atrial fibrillation feels worse for women, although men are more likely to die from the arrhythmia, a subanalysis of the ORBIT AF registry showed. Women were more symptomatic with a poorer quality of life and greater functional limitations despite similar oral anticoagulation rates and less advanced Afib than was seen in men, Jonathan Piccini, MD, of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, and colleagues found.
Research into improving outcomes for pregnant women with pre-existing health conditions
Kings College London, 15 March 2013
A research team based at Kings College London plan to conduct research aimed at improving outcomes for pregnant women with pre-existing health conditions. In the first instance they plan to focus on evaluating the way decisions are made about treatment and care of pregnant women who have either pre-existing cardiac conditions or pre-existing diabetes.
Dabigatran might cut hospital days Vs. standard anticoagulants in new AF
theHeart.org, 14 March 2013
There are more options than ever when starting anticoagulation therapy in patients with a new diagnosis of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF), but some may get the patient out the hospital doors faster than others. A small retrospective study suggests that choosing one of the newer oral agents that don't call for extra steps in getting anticoagulation levels to target, the way warfarin typically does, can help cut a significant number of hours, maybe more than a day, off hospitalization time.
Read more - please note, you will be prompted to login to access this website
Full House, 14 March 2013
My racing heart made me too scared to go out with my kids.
AF Association welcomes government's first step to improve management of AF; prevent strokes; save lives
Dept of Health, 7 March 2013
The Department of Health published the Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy. The implications for AF patients are considerable. The strategy calls for improved early diagnosis, assessment of risks and effective management of symptoms and risk factors.
Ablation of AF improves exercise capacity in heart-failure patients
Heart.org, 5 March 2013
Radiofrequency catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation is superior to rate control for improving exercise performance in individuals with heart failure, according to the results of a small, randomised study.
Read more - please note, you maybe prompted to login to this free site.
NICE recommends new treatment for AF
NICE, 27 February 2013
NICE has published guidelines recommending the use of apixaban as a treatment option to prevent AF-related stroke.
Public Consultation: CCG Outcomes Indicator Set
NICE, February 2013
Formerly known as the Commissioning Outcomes Framework, the Clinical Commissioning Groups Outcomes Indicator Set (CCG OIS) aims to support clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and improve the quality of patient care across England.
As part of the process to develop the Clinical Commissioning Group Outcomes Indicator Set (CCGOIS) patients, carers and the public have the opportunity to comment on potential new indicators.
The consultation closes at 5pm on 1st March 2013.
The consultation webpage is here
Early day motion in Parliament
Encourage your MP to sign this early day motion to highlight the plight of atrial fibrillation in the UK and the associated increased risk of stroke. It is the most common heart rhythm disorder in the country yet diagnosis and effective treatment remains relatively low. We need your support to push your local MP to sign this motion and raise the issue in the House of Commons.
Patients asked about their experience with catheter ablation
Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
A patient satisfaction survey found that most AF patients are satisfied with the AF ablation experience.
New anticoagulant approved by NICE
NICE, 23 January 2013
GPs have been handed another alternative to warfarin after NICE gave preliminary approval to a new treatment to prevent stroke in AF.
NICE recommends blood pressure device that can help prevent stroke
NICE, 23 January 2013
A new device that allows GPs and practice nurses to detect pulse irregularities and pick up cases of atrial fibrillation whilst measuring blood pressure has been recommended by NICE.
Nominate a stroke hero!
Do you know someone affected by stroke who has made great achievements in their recovery or towards the stroke cause? This includes stroke survivors and others who support stroke. Nominate them for the 2013 Life After Stroke Awards! The deadline for nominations is 1 March 2013.
Researchers develop virtual heart to study atrial fibrillation
Fierce Health, 17 Janurary 2013
The creation of an advanced computational model of a sheep's heart is enabling researchers at the University of Manchester to discover new information about the development of atrial fibrillation, according to a paper published online this week in the British journal Interface Focus.
Expert advice from Echo resident doctors and Wearside GPs Dr Ashley Liston and Dr Tracey Lucas
Sunderland Echo, January 2013
It is easy to take for granted the amazing property of our blood to clot whenever we have a cut on our skin.
Simple test to prevent stroke - WatchBP
Daily Express, 16 January 2013
A simple test at the doctor’s could save thousands of lives a year by detecting a killer irregular heartbeat. A new blood pressure device which can also spot a dangerous heart condition has been approved for use in England from today.
A review of the accuracy of blood pressure monitors for the detectio of AF
Expert Reviews, 2012
Automated blood pressure monitors with implemented AF or arrhythmia detection systems may be a useful tool for early diagnosis of AF. A systematic review of studies was performed to assess the accuracy of modified BP monitors for diagnosing AF.
NICE update on WatchBP Home A for opportunistically detecting AF during diagnosis and monitoring of hypertension
NICE, 21 December 2012
Exploring the links between plants and medicine
21 December 2012
The Fox Got You is a photographic art and science project exploring the links between six common plants, five major medicinal drugs and the research into four types of cellular structures. Read more to find out how you could get involved.
Take Action Now - Action Plan launched
12 December 2012
Take Action Now – a practical Action Plan for effective patient advocacy against AF-related stroke. The Action Plan published today was developed by the AF Association in partnership with AntiCoagulation Europe (ACE), Arrhythmia Alliance and Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) as a guide to campaigning for the effective management of AF patients at risk of stroke. Click here to learn how your advocacy can make use of the Action Plan.
Raised risk of ischemic stroke in women with AF explored
MedicalXpress.com, 10 December 2012
Women with atrial fibrillation (AF) have a higher risk of ischemic stroke than men with AF, related in part to differences in the percent time in the therapeutic range (TTR) associated with warfarin anticoagulation control, according to research published in the American Journal of Cardiology.
Defibrillator training for all GPs urged to cut deaths
Irish Times, 6 December 2012
The number of deaths in Ireland caused by sudden cardiac arrest would be greatly reduced if GPs were equipped with and trained in the use of defibrillators, a new study has found.
Oliver King heart death: Defibrillator petition 'ignored'
BBC News, 22 November 2012
The father of a Liverpool boy who died of a heart condition has criticised the government for "ignoring" a petition to put defibrillators in public buildings.
Apixaban gets EU OK for stroke prevention in AF
Medpage Today, 21 November 2012
The European Commission, the European Union's equivalent to the FDA, has approved the use of apixaban (Eliquis) for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.
Charity has plan to save NHS £96m
Cotswold Journal, 19 November 2012
A campaign launched by a Shipston charity, which could save the NHS £96 million, has been backed by MPs.