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Atrial Fibrillation Association launches regional support group and raises awareness of condition during global AF Awareness Week

A cardiac charity which has established a regional support group is calling for 'business as usual' in detecting atrial fibrillation to prevent strokes.

The Atrial Fibrillation Association, the only charity to support patients with heart rhythm disorders, is aiming to raise awareness and detection of the most common cardiac arrhythmia – atrial fibrillation (AF) – that causes the most life-threatening strokes.

Ben Lord, regional ambassador for AF Association – East Anglia Support Group, said: “Three years ago, I lost my grandad to an avoidable AF-related stroke.

Ben Lord and Dr John Cannon (43161573)
Ben Lord and Dr John Cannon (43161573)

"Having seen how under-performing East Anglia is in detecting AF and preventing entirely avoidable strokes, I am delighted to be forming this support group with like-minded individuals. We are motivated beyond measure to continue the excellent work that has been done in our locality right across East Anglia to save other families from enduring what mine has.”

More than 500,000 people across the UK have undiagnosed AF, which is often asymptomatic.

As the Government maintains a position of 'business as usual' for the NHS, Arrhythmia Alliance is using its global AF Awareness Week is stressing the importance of knowing your pulse and if you feel it is irregular, to not hesitate in seeking help from your GP.

Trudie Lobban, chief executive of the AF Association, said: “We are delighted about the formation of the East Anglia Support Group to help increase awareness of atrial fibrillation. It is more important than ever for people to be aware of their heart rhythm through a simple 30-second pulse check (for more information visit, www.knowyourpulse.org)."

Prof John Cannon, lead medical advisor to the newly-formed support group, said:"AF increases the risk of stroke by 500 per cent and heart failure by 300 per cent. I would urge everyone to be aware of their pulse and ask for help if there is an irregularity.”

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