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Survey Reveals Many are Ignoring Basic Measures to Check for no.1 Heart Killer Disorder in Europe

Monday, June 7, 2010 General News J E 4
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STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, England, June 7, 2010

- On World Heart Rhythm Week, Arrhythmia Alliance Launches 'Know YourPulse' Campaign to Raise Awareness of the Importance of Pulse Checking toKeep Cardiac Conditions Under Control

Arrhythmia Alliance, the Heart Rhythm Charity, announced today theresults of a survey conducted in Europe that showed a large number ofrespondents ignore basic measures to check for potential cardiac arrhythmias,or heart rhythm disorders. To raise awareness of the importance of pulsechecking and to inform people about how to take their pulse, the ArrhythmiaAlliance will open 2010 World Heart Rhythm Week (7-13 June) with the launchof the global awareness campaign 'Know Your Pulse'.

"Taking your pulse rate is a quick and easy way to identify a heartrhythm problem which in some cases could potentially have seriousimplications" - explained Prof A John Camm, President of Arrhythmia Alliance."Being aware of your pulse rate is the easiest way for a patient to check fora potential cardiac arrhythmia and may suggest when to contact a healthcareprofessional for further investigation."

According to the survey results, nearly 40 percent (37.6%) of respondentsdo not take their pulse regularly, and 70 percent (70.3%) are unaware if theyare at risk of a cardiac arrhythmia. In addition, nearly 60 percent (57.4%)of the respondents who have taken their pulse in the past would not know howto take it again.

Arrhythmias are heart rhythm disorders that can cause a range ofconditions including Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) - a leading cause of deathin Europe[1], syncope (blackouts or loss of consciousness), and atrialfibrillation (a leading cause of stroke, and the most common of all cardiacarrhythmias). Conditions caused by heart rhythm disorders kill more people inEurope than breast cancer[2], lung cancer[2], stroke[3] or AIDS[4].

"Surprisingly, anyone at any age can be at risk. Sudden Cardiac Arrestcan affect the young and even athletes who are physically fit, for example,"commented Trudie Lobban, Founder and Trustee of Arrhythmia Alliance. "This iswhy on World Heart Rhythm Week this year, we are launching a campaign toencourage people to put into place simple measures that can make a realdifference, and detect potential heart rhythm disorders for an earlydiagnosis and treatment."

The 'Know Your Pulse' campaign also seeks to raise awareness amongsthealthcare professionals of the importance of conducting regular pulse checksduring normal patient check-ups so that cardiac arrhythmias are given as muchattention as other conditions. Almost 80 percent (79.62%) of surveyrespondents felt that it is important that healthcare professionalsacknowledge this.

Website: http://www.knowyourpulse.org

Download a 'Know Your Pulse' check card and web application now fromhttp://www.knowyourpulse.org to monitor your pulse.

About the 'Know Your Pulse' campaign

The 'Know Your Pulse' campaign is coordinated by Arrhythmia Alliance, aglobal coalition of patients, medical professionals and caregivers dedicatedto providing education, information and support for people with cardiacarrhythmias. For more information please visithttp://www.heartrhythmcharity.org.uk

About Arrhythmias

A cardiac arrhythmia is an electrical problem causing the heart to beattoo fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or erratically. Symptomsinclude palpitations, shortness of breath, and unexplained blackouts.

About the survey

An online survey was commissioned by Opinion Health, an independentsurvey house, and was completed by 750 respondents in Italy (n=250), Portugal(n=250), and the UK (n=250).

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[1] Priori S et al. Task Force on Sudden Cardiac Death, European Societyof Cardiology, Summary of recommendations. Europace (2006) 4, 3-18

[2] International Agency for Research on Cancer, Globocan 2000. Cancerincidence, mortality and prevalence worldwide.2001

[3] World Health Organization (WHO). WHO Burden of Disease and Injury(Dataset-2002). World Health Organization

[4] CIA. The World Fact Book - Rank Order - HIV/AIDS - deaths. Availableat http://www.cia.gov

SOURCE Arrhythmia Alliance
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