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Alex pledges support for million Britons living with atrial fibrillation

Alex Cunningham has pledged to work with the Atrial Fibrillation Association and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Atrial Fibrillation (APGAF) to promote improved diagnosis, treatment and care for the more than one million people currently living with atrial fibrillation in the UK.

Alex Cunningham MP

At an event held in Parliament, hosted by the AF Association and APGAF, the Stockton North Labour MP received a simple pulse check and a single lead ECG reading using the AliveCor ECG device that enables people to check their heart rhythm by using their own smart phone or tablet.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder and is associated with devastating consequences such as heart failure, AF-related stroke, poor mental health, and premature death.  It is estimated that up to half of Britain’s atrial fibrillation patients remain undiagnosed, though a simple pulse check could quickly and easily detect the condition.

Alex said:

“Atrial fibrillation affects a large number of people in Britain and more needs to be done to promote awareness about detecting and treating the condition.  This is particularly true with the condition being more common in older patients, meaning that the number of people with atrial fibrillation in Britain is expected to double by 2050 as our population ages.

“Early detection, diagnosis and appropriate medical management can result in fewer appointments and admissions, saving individuals from long-term ill-health.  It is therefore important that the condition is identified through the use of a simple pulse check, and crucial that, following a diagnosis, patients receive the most appropriate treatment for them.”

Trudie Lobban MBE, Atrial Fibrillation Association Chief Executive, said: “Atrial fibrillation causes 12,000 debilitating and fatal strokes in the UK each year, and from the age of 40 we have a 1-in-4 lifetime risk of developing the condition.  Early detection is vital, and with a simple pulse check or use of the AliveCor ECG device, detection can be quick and inexpensive.  With the support of MPs and the All-Party Parliamentary Group, we can ensure that improved detection, treatment and care for people with atrial fibrillation is prioritised to reduce thousands of avoidable deaths and costs to the health service.”