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Atrial fibrillation patient website launched by ESC

A website for patients with atrial fibrillation has been launched by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The AFib Matters website, goes live today at EHRA EUROPACE 2013, which is being held 23-26 June in Athens, Greece.

Atrial Fibrillation

Athens, 22 June 2013: Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac rhythm disorder, affecting 1.5-2% of the general population in the developed world (1). Over 6 million Europeans currently suffer from atrial fibrillation, and it is estimated that the prevalence will at least double in the next 50 years as the population ages (2).
Patients with atrial fibrillation have a substantially increased risk of stroke. When strokes occur in patients with atrial fibrillation they are associated with more death and disability, longer hospital stays, and less chance of returning home. Atrial fibrillation is also associated with an increased risk of heart failure and impaired cognitive function including dementia.
Professor Gregory YH Lip, Birmingham, UK, who was Chairman of the Task Force responsible for the development of the website, said: “Atrial fibrillation is common and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Patients can be extremely symptomatic and distressed, and may have a very poor quality of life.”

He added: “Patients with atrial fibrillation often have questions or misconceptions about their condition, such as whether they can travel, should they avoid certain foods, what can interact with their medication, and what is the risk of treatments. All of these questions are answered on the website.”

AFib Matters was put together by a multidisciplinary, international task force of expert clinicians and patient representatives. It outlines what atrial fibrillation is, symptoms, complications, types of drugs, and the need for stroke prevention. A section is devoted to frequently asked questions.
Prof Lip said: “The website also highlights the latest developments in the treatment and management of atrial fibrillation including the new oral anticoagulant drugs, ablation and devices. It is the authoritative website on atrial fibrillation and will be updated at regular intervals with relevant and timely information.

“We know that education on atrial fibrillation helps patients understand their condition and improves management,” he concluded. “AFib Matters will boost awareness and understanding of atrial fibrillation and dispel misconceptions of this common and distressing condition.”


  1. 2012 focused update of the ESC Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation. European Heart Journal. 2012;33:2719–2747.
  2. Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation. European Heart Journal. 2010;31:2369–2429.

Scientific Programme Online

Notes to editor

About the European Society of Cardiology
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 80,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.
About the European Heart Rhythm Association
The European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) is a registered branch of the ESC. Its aim is to improve the quality of life of the European population by reducing the impact of cardiac arrhythmias and reducing sudden cardiac death.