| Updated at: 1709 PST, Tuesday, February 01, 2011|
LONDON: Thousand of people who suffer from irregular heartbeats or conditions termed as arrhythmias are unaware they are at high risk of suffering a stroke.
A new survey found that two of three people do not know the warning signs of shortness of breath and palpitations. Experts estimate that more than 4,000 strokes a year could be prevented by better awareness among the general public and doctors of the heart condition atrial fibrillation (AF) this manifests as palpitations and irregular heart beat.
Steve Benveniste, campaigns officer at The Stroke Association said, “Atrial fibrillation is a major risk factor for stroke. It accounts for 14 per cent of all strokes and 12,500 strokes a year are thought to be directly linked to the condition… The majority of people recognize factors such as smoking and high blood pressure as risk factors for stroke, yet, as this research highlights public awareness of AF as a risk factor is incredibly low… Many people may not recognize the symptoms of AF as a serious health problem, resulting in them not being diagnosed and leaving them at risk of stroke.”