Results of a poll reported by the American Heart Association (AHA) show 50% of the individuals who have atrial fibrillation (AFib) either do not know they are also at risk of a stroke or believe the condition does not put them at higher risk of stroke. A statement from the AHA Cites a "knowledge gap," as the primary cause behind the ignorance behind this dangerous lack of awareness.


The survey also revealed only two-thirds of respondents who had AFib recalled that their healthcare provider talked with them about their elevated stroke risk. Among the 66 percent of AFib patients who talked with their doctors, 21 percent said they were told they have no stroke risk


Stroke is reportedly the most serious risk of the conditions to which AFib can lead. However, only a small number of individuals polled, 8%, said that stroke was their greatest health concern. Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that affects about 2.7 million Americans.


“While there’s a lot known about atrial fibrillation, there’s a lot unknown as well,” said Mark Estes III, M.D., professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Mass. “The American Heart Association’s goal for AFib is to bridge those knowledge gaps through research and education. By helping people better understand their risks, we can impact treatment and prevention of AFib and AFib-related strokes.”


“Patients need to be aware of this risk and have serious conversations with their healthcare providers about what they should be doing to prevent stroke,” Estes said.