Paris, France and Ingelheim, Germany, 29th August 2011 – Last night at an award ceremony in Paris, the 32 winning projects of the global disease awareness initiative 1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke were announced. The projects were chosen by the public and a panel of experts. They will be awarded a share of the €1 million donation to fulfil the overall mission of preventing as many as one million atrial fibrillation (AF)-related strokes through awareness campaigns. 1 Mission 1 Million is supported by over 45 third-party organisations around the world and is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.
"I am thrilled that so many countries are set to benefit from 1 Mission 1 Million," said renowned actress Jane Seymour, ambassador for the initiative. "I have very personal reasons for being involved with this as my mother had AF and unfortunately had a stroke as a result of the condition. AF-related strokes can be incredibly debilitating and I am proud to be part of this initiative which has given the public the power to allocate €1 million to projects which will really make a difference to the lives of people with AF and their families."
Winners of 1 Mission 1 Million span the globe from Malaysia to Canada [Fig 1] and include a range of individuals, patient and professional groups and healthcare centres from 18 different countries.The winning projects include the design of an iPhone app to detect an irregular heart rhythm, the production of a disease awareness video, the local provision of electrocardiogram monitoring, and an online social media platform. Spain leads the way with a total of five winners, followed by France and Germany with four winners each.
"The winners have now been announced but this is just the beginning," said Professor John Camm, 1 Mission 1 Million Expert Panel member. "AF is the most common sustained heart rhythm disorder worldwide, leading to as many as 3 million strokes globally each year. 1-6 Furthermore, a staggering one in four adults over the age of 40 will develop AF in their lifetime. 7 These projects will take an important step in preventing AF-related strokes and have the potential to save many lives across the world."
12 months ago, awareness projects were submitted by individuals, patient and professional groups and healthcare centres across 36 countries on www.heartofstroke.com, with 184 being put forward for public vote following a review of all projects by members of the 1 Mission 1 Million Expert Panel. Members of the public were then invited to vote for projects that they believed would make a difference in preventing AF-related strokes. Over two million votes were received, representing widespread public engagement.
To read more information about the winning entries and the runners-up, please visit www.heartofstroke.com The site also 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.
Notes to Editors
About Atrial Fibrillation (AF)
AF is the most common sustained heart rhythm abnormality worldwide with one in four adults over the age of 40 developing AF in their lifetime. 1,7 AF causes the heart to beat irregularly and often too quickly or too slowly. 8 People with AF are five times more likely to suffer a stroke than people without AF and AF-related strokes tend to be more severe and disabling than non AF-related strokes. 3-5,9 Many AF-related strokes can be prevented with correct management but many patients are not aware of their risk and so take no action to prevent it. 10
About 1 Mission 1 Million
1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke is a first-of-its-kind disease awareness initiative, supported by leading health experts and patient organisations including AntiCoagulation Europe, Atrial Fibrillation Association, Stroke Alliance for Europe and the World Heart Federation and is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. Project applications, submitted by healthcare professionals and organisations worldwide, were reviewed by an Expert Panel whose members are leaders in the field of AF, and voting was open to the public between 22nd March and 22nd June 2011.In addition to the public vote, the Expert Panel members selected seven 'Expert Picks' – projects that were deemed to be deserving of special recognition. There were a total of 32 awards available, ranging from €10,000 to €100,000, totalling €1 million.
About the Campaign Supporters
Over 45 third party organisations around the world support the 1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke initiative. Below is some information about the four global supporters.
As a leading European charity dedicated to the prevention of thrombosis, 1 Mission 1 Million is a marvellous opportunity to join with other organisations to make a united call to make a difference to stroke prevention in AF.
The Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA) is involved in 1 Mission 1 Million because as the voice of patients, carers and medical professionals dealing with atrial fibrillation, AFA is dedicated to improving the health, well-being and ultimately, the lives of those suffering with this debilitating condition, often described by patients as 'taking away the essence of life.'
The Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) is proud to be a supporter of 1 Mission 1 Million. This valuable initiative will highlight awareness of atrial fibrillation (AF), one of the hidden risk factors for stroke. The proper treatment options for patients with AF are not always used, and public awareness of it is currently extremely low.With AF rising up the medical agenda, we look forward to an increase in understanding amongst the general public as well as in physicians so that they are able to more effectively manage the condition.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a growing public health issue, affecting not only the patients who live with the condition, but also their families and the healthcare systems in the countries where they live. Yet research shows there is a perceived lack of awareness and understanding of AF. The World Heart Federation supports the 1 Mission 1 Million initiative and its goal to draw attention to this serious condition, the consequences of which can have devastating effects on patients and healthcare systems.