Actress Jane Seymour takes up the fight against common heart rhythm disorder, atrial fibrillation and its link to stroke
Madrid, Spain and Ingelheim, Germany, 22 nd March 2011 – Today, actress Jane Seymour invites the public to vote for projects that increase awareness of the link between atrial fibrillation (AF) and stroke. AF is the most common sustained heart rhythm disorder worldwide and leads to as many as 3 million strokes worldwide each year. 1,2 Seymour, who has herself been touched by tragic effects of AF-related stroke, pledges her support for 1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke, a first-of-its-kind disease awareness effort. The global initiative will provide up to €1 million for projects, to be selected by public vote, which fulfill the overall mission of helping prevent as many as 1 million AF-related strokes through information campaigns. It is supported by over 40 third party organisations around the world and is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.
"I'm involved in 1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke for very personal reasons; my mother had AF and in fact she had a stroke," said Jane Seymour, ambassador for 1 Mission 1 Million, "Anyone who's been a caregiver for someone who's had a stroke, will know how debilitating and horrendous strokes can be. There is an urgent need for people to learn more about AF and how it relates to stroke. Through 1 Mission 1 Million, the public can actively help to prevent one million AF-related strokes by doing something as simple as voting online."
The public can now vote on 184 1 Mission 1 Million project submissions entered by individuals, patient and professional groups and healthcare centres across 36 countries. Each submission proposes an approach to increase awareness of AF-related stroke within the community whether through research, screening programmes or the creation of patient groups and websites.
"AF is a very common heart rhythm abnormality with one in four adults over the age of 40 developing AF in their lifetime which means that the majority of us will know someone who has AF," said Trudie Lobban, campaign supporter and CEO of the Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA), "It is so important that the public joins us in the mission to help prevent 1 million strokes worldwide and make a difference by voting for their favourite AF awareness projects on www.heartofstroke.com. is one of the organisations from around the world to partner with the initiative and we hope the public will prove to be just as enthusiastic for such a worthwhile cause."
Largest ever Global AF Survey reveals need for
SPEAK about AF (Stroke Prevention Education, Awareness and Knowledge), the largest and most extensive survey (over 3700 participants) ever conducted in people diagnosed with AF and the physicians who treat the condition, revealed that more education is needed about the link between AF and stroke.
Key survey findings include: 3
- AF has a negative impact on the lives of people with this condition
- While physicians are aware of the risk of AF-related stroke, not all people with AF fully understand their risk
- There is a need to provide more information about the risk of AF-related stroke and to utilise new channels for communication with people with AF
- Over time and with more information, people with AF feel less worried and more in control of how they manage the prevention of stroke
- For more information, visit www.speakAF.com
"AF-related strokes are debilitating with an increased risk of death, but most importantly, in many cases they can be prevented," said Professor Ariel Cohen, Sainte-Antoine Hospital, Paris. "By supporting scientific projects that will increase awareness of the relationship between AF and stroke, the public has an opportunity to play a real role in helping to prevent strokes. I encourage people to seek additional information by visiting the website where they can learn more about AF and the risk of stroke, view the projects and vote for those that best meet the objective of decreasing the burden of this common heart rhythm disorder."
In addition to information about all 184 projects, www.heartofstroke.com features useful information about the risk factors for AF-related stroke and offers support and advice for people who have been diagnosed with the condition.