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Health Leaders Issue Recommendations to Improve Management of a Common, Costly and Misunderstood Cardiovascular Disease: Atrial Fibrillation
Date:9/16/2009

"AF Stat(TM) Call to Action for Atrial Fibrillation" Report Cites Limited Understanding, Disconnected Dialogue and Uncoordinated Care as Key Barriers to Improved Outcomes

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A diverse collaboration of healthcare leaders today released the AF Stat(TM) Call to Action for Atrial Fibrillation to serve as a roadmap for reducing the burden of atrial fibrillation (AFib) in the United States. The document outlines critical issues surrounding the management of AFib, and recommends priority actions in the areas of policy, management, education and quality.

"For far too long, AFib has flown under the radar of many healthcare professionals, policymakers and the public," said Senator Bill Frist, M.D., former Senate Majority Leader and health policy advisor for AF Stat. "AFib disproportionately affects Medicare patients, yet the disease's impact on both individuals and our healthcare system has never been fully defined or prioritized."

Characterized by an irregular and frequently fast heartbeat, AFib is the most common form of heart arrhythmia. It affects approximately 2.5 million Americans, and its prevalence is expected to increase as the U.S. population ages. AFib is associated with a five-fold increase in risk for stroke(1); worsens underlying cardiovascular disease(2); and doubles the risk of all-cause mortality(3).

The disease is also expensive, costing the nation approximately $6.65 billion annually, much of which could be attributed to the increased hospital in-patient, emergency and medical services utilization rates for people with AFib(4). A report released today by Avalere Health,

SOURCE AF Stat Working Group
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