Many Atrial Fibrillation Patients Unaware of Stroke Risk

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Half of patients with atrial fibrillation either deny or do not know they are at increased risk of stroke, a recent American Heart Association survey finds.

Half of patients with atrial fibrillation either deny or do not know they are at increased risk of stroke, a recent American Heart Association survey finds. Atrial fibrillation affects approximately 2.7 million Americans and increases fivefold one’s risk of stroke, which is the number three killer in the country after heart disease and cancer.

The survey of 502 adults with atrial fibrillation found that just 8% said that stroke was their greatest health concern. In all, 50% of those surveyed thought they were at risk of stroke, 25% said they were not at risk, and 25% did not know. The survey also found that two-thirds remembered their health care provider talking with them about their elevated risk of stroke, and 21% of these remembered being told they had no stroke risk.

“Patients need to be aware of this risk and have serious conversations with their health care providers about what they should be doing to prevent stroke,” said Mark Estes III, MD, professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, in a press release announcing the survey results.

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