Sept 19 – 25 is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week Don't let a stroke be the first time you discover you have an irregular heartbeat. An estimated 500,000 Australians have Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common irregular heartbeat, and its prevalence is expected to double in the next decade. Many people living with AF don’t experience symptoms, which means you could be living with the underlying heart condition and not know it. Alarmingly, up to 30% of those affected by the disorder remain undiagnosed, which is why awareness is so important. This year hearts4heart is launching its 8th Annual Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week (19 – 25 September). Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Awareness Week aims to: (1.) raise awareness about AF prevalence in Australia, (2.) educate people about the symptoms and risk factors of AF, particularly those aged 65 years and older, caregivers and healthcare professionals, and (3.) encourage people at risk of AF or experiencing symptoms to speak with their GP about getting their heart checked and learn ways to manage their heart health. Are you at risk? AF affects men and women and can occur at any age. Risk factors include:
High blood cholesterol
High blood pressure
Age over 65 years
What can you do?
Recognising AF symptoms is key to early diagnosis, stroke prevention, effective management of the condition, and the best health outcomes. Symptoms can include any of the following:
Shortness of breath
If you’re experiencing any of the above, don’t put your heart health on hold. Speak to your GP and get your heart checked.
Discovering an irregular heartbeat could save your life.