Judith von Gordon
Head of Global Media & PR
1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke Calls on Healthcare Professionals, Professional and Patient Organisations and the Public to Submit Ideas to Increase Awareness and Understanding of Atrial Fibrillation and its Link to Debilitating Stroke
For non-US and non-UK Healthcare Media only
Stockholm, Sweden, 29 August 2010 – 1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke launches today announcing a worldwide effort to help prevent as many as 1 million atrial fibrillation (AF)-related strokes through increased awareness and understanding. This first-of-its kind initiative calls for the submission of project ideas which can help educate and raise awareness of the increased risk of stroke with atrial fibrillation and improve management of the disease. The projects will be reviewed by experts in AF and then voted upon by the public – up to 32 projects will be selected to receive funding from the €1 million in awards that will be made available. Healthcare professionals can register on the 1 Mission 1 Million website (www.heartofstroke.com) to receive educational materials to support their efforts to inform patients about AF and the risk of stroke.
As many as three million people worldwide have an atrial fibrillation-related stroke every year; equivalent to one person every 12 seconds.1-3 One in four people aged 40 years or older develop atrial fibrillation during their lifetime, making it the most common heart rhythm abnormality.4,5 Atrial fibrillation causes the heart to beat irregularly and often at a too fast or too slow heart rate. People with atrial fibrillation are five times more likely to have a stroke than people without AF. In addition AF -related strokes are more severe and associated with more disability than non-atrial fibrillation strokes.1,6,7 Three out of four AF-related strokes can be prevented, but many patients are not aware of their risk and do not take action to prevent stroke.8,9
“Many people are unaware of their increased risk and potential life changing consequences of having an atrial fibrillation-related stroke,” said Professor Roberto Ferrari, Professor of Cardiology at the University of Ferrara, Italy and expert panel member. “Through a commitment to education and funding community based projects, 1 Mission 1 Million has the potential to make a significant and meaningful difference for those affected by atrial fibrillation.”
1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke is supported by leading health experts and patient organisations including the World Heart Federation (WHF), Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA), AntiCoagulation Europe (ACE), and Stroke Alliance For Europe (SAFE) and is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.
“Increasing awareness can lead to earlier diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and to more patients receiving appropriate care - resulting in the potential prevention of more avoidable strokes,” said Professor Günter Breithardt, from the World Heart Federation and Expert Panel member. “Initiatives that work to prevent AF-related stroke will improve the quality of life for patients and have the potential to reduce health-related costs worldwide.”
Healthcare professionals and professional and patient groups can request educational materials on atrial fibrillation and the risk of stroke on www.heartofstroke.com. The materials will be available at no cost.
Projects can be submitted online until 31 December, 2010. The applications will then be reviewed against the campaign’s entry criteria by an Expert Panel whose members include cardiologists and patient group leaders in the area of atrial fibrillation, all of whom have expertise in supporting people with the condition. In February 2011, selected projects will be featured on www.heartofstroke.com and healthcare professionals, professional and patient groups and the public will be invited to vote on which projects they believe will be most impactful. Voting will close in June 2011, and the projects with the most votes will be awarded funding for implementation. The Expert Panel members will also select 7 ‘Expert Picks’ - projects that are deemed to be deserving of special recognition. There are a total of 32 awards available, ranging from €10,000 to €100,000, totalling 1 million Euros.
For more information about atrial fibrillation-related stroke and to learn more about submitting project ideas visit www.heartofstroke.com.
About the Campaign Supporters
The following organisations have committed their support to 1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke.
AntiCoagulation Europe (ACE)
Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA)
Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE)
World Heart Federation (WHF)
About Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim is sponsoring this campaign to raise awareness of atrial fibrillation and its link to stroke. Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving health worldwide through research into cardiovascular disease and the development of new treatments in the area.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates in 50 countries and more than 41,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
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1Lin HJ, Wolf PA, Kelly-Hayes M, et al. Stroke severity in atrial fibrillation: the Framingham Study. Stroke 1996; 27:1760-4
2Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke, World Health Organization, September 2004. Viewed July 2009 at http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_disease/en/cvd_atlas_15_burden_stroke.pdf.
3Wolf PA, Abbott RD, Kannel WB. Atrial fibrillation as an independent risk factor for stroke: the Framingham Study. Stroke 1991; 22(8):983-8.
4Lloyd-Jones DM, Wang TJ, Leip EP, Larson MG, Levy D, Vasan RS, et al. Lifetime risk for development of atrial fibrillation: the Framingham Heart Study. Circulation 2004; 110:1042-6.
5Stewart S, Murphy N, Walker A, et al. Cost of an emerging epidemic: an economic analysis of atrial fibrillation in the UK. Heart 2004; 90:286-92.
6Fuster V, Rydn LE, Cannom DS, et al. ACC/AHA/ESC 2006 Guidelines for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation – executive summary. Circulation 2006; 114:700-52.
7Kannel WB, Abbott RD, Savage DD, et al. Coronary heart disease and atrial fibrillation: the Framingham Study. Am Heart J 1983; 106:389-96.
8Collony SJ et al. Dabigatran versus Warfarin in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation. N Engl J Med 2009;361:1139-1151.
9Hart RG et al. Meta-analysis: Antithrombotic Therapy to Prevent Stroke in Patients Who Have Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation. Ann Intern Med 2007;146:857-867.