Only half of patients with atrial fibrillation know they are at a heightened risk for stroke.
I’m pretty amazed if the results of this study, sponsored by the American Heart Association, are correct.
Both my husband and my father have a history of AFib. And fortunately, I feel like the risks of stroke were one of the first things their doctors discussed. Apparently, others aren’t doing as good a job, which tells me that cardiovascular marketers have a big job to do in terms of education.
The survey examined what AFib patients perceive to be their biggest health risk. It also measured respondents’ knowledge of stroke, warning signs of stroke and stroke prevention strategies.
While nearly all patients claimed to understand the definition of stroke, just more than half defined it in correct terms.
Of those diagnosed with AFib:
- 42 percent said they were most concerned about the potential of heart disease or MI
- 10 percent said they were most concerned about becoming diabetic
- Only 8 percent of respondents said they believed stroke was their greatest health concern
- 25 percent said they believed they were not at a risk for stroke, even despite their condition
- 25 percent said they did not know
Two-thirds of the patients said their healthcare provider spoke with them about their elevated risk of stroke with AFib, yet among these patients, 21 percent said they were told they were not at risk for stroke. Huh?
“Patients need to be aware of this risk and have serious conversations with their healthcare providers about what they should be doing to prevent stroke,” Mark Estes III, MD, professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, said in a statement.
Uh, yes. I agree.