Value through Innovation19 April 2014
22 June 2011

Global stroke prevention awareness initiative draws two million votes around the world

32 projects aiming to prevent AF-related stroke will be awarded €1 million in 1 Mission 1 Million initiative

Ingelheim, Germany, 22 June 2011 – Today, the public cast their last votes for 184 projects competing for a share of €1 million in the global disease awareness initiative, 1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke. These projects, submitted by individuals, patient and professional groups and healthcare centres in 36 countries share the single aim to raise awareness of the link between the common heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (AF) and the risk of having a stroke. The winners will be announced during this year’s European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress in Paris at the end of August.

Only three months ago actress Jane Seymour called upon the public to vote on the 1 Mission 1 Million projects. Jane’s call for votes and the relentless efforts of the applicants to promote their projects led to an outstanding 2 million votes and 200,000 personal comments on the global website www.heartofstroke.com which includes information in various languages.

Jane Seymour, ambassador for 1 Mission 1 Million

Jane Seymour, ambassador for 1 Mission 1 Million

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"I am really excited about these results and the amount of people who went out of their way to vote and leave comments on the website. One of our aims was to engage with the general public directing them to AF information on www.heartofstroke.com," said Jane Seymour, ambassador for 1 Mission 1 Million. "I lost my mother to an AF-related stroke; more still needs to be done to make people aware of this risk and to make sure they receive the best protection – these projects will really make a difference."

AF is the most common sustained heart rhythm disorder and leads to as many as 3 million strokes worldwide each year,1,2,3 however, awareness of the link between AF and stroke remains low, resulting in suboptimal protection for millions of patients.

What happens next?

All votes received will now be reviewed and validated by an organisation which specialises in independent promotional and broadcast verification in order to make sure that the voting has not been manipulated. Once this verification process has been carried out, all applicants who have been successful in either the public vote or have been selected for an 'Expert Pick' will be informed. Prior to funding being awarded, these applicants will undergo checks on eligibility, compliance with Terms and Conditions and accuracy of the information provided in their application. Project entrants that will receive a share of a €1 million donation will be announced during this year’s European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress in Paris after the verification process and applicant checks have been carried out.

"It is important that we do all we can to educate the public about AF-related strokes, which are more debilitating than other types of stroke and lead to an increased risk of death," said Eve Knight, campaign supporter and Co-Founder and Chief Executive of the leading charity AntiCoagulation Europe (ACE), "AntiCoagulation Europe, as a partner of the initiative, is certain that 1 Mission 1 Million has contributed substantially to educating people about AF-related stroke through the media, the website and educational materials. We look forward to the next phase of this campaign when the winning applicants can be awarded and can begin their important task of raising awareness."

Please visit www.heartofstroke.com to find out more about AF and stroke, the projects and to follow the results. 1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke is supported by 44 patient and medical organisations and sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Notes to Editors

About Atrial Fibrillation (AF)
AF is the most common sustained heart rhythm abnormality worldwide with one in four adults over the age of 40 developing AF in their lifetime.1,5 AF causes the heart to beat irregularly and often too quickly or too slowly.6 People with AF are five times more likely to suffer a stroke than people without AF and AF-related strokes tend to be more severe and disabling than non AF-related strokes.4,7,8 Many AF-related strokes can be prevented with correct management but many patients are not aware of their risk and so take no action to prevent it.9

About 1 Mission 1 Million
1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke
is a first-of-its-kind disease awareness initiative, supported by leading health experts and patient organisations including AntiCoagulation Europe, Atrial Fibrillation Association, Stroke Alliance for Europe and the World Heart Federation and is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.Project applications, submitted by healthcare professionals and organisations worldwide, were reviewed by an Expert Panel whose members are leaders in the field of AF, and the public invited to votes on these projects from 22nd March 2011. Voting closed on 22nd June 2011 and the projects with the most votes will soon be awarded funding after undergoing checks. The Expert Panel members also selected seven 'Expert Picks' – projects that were deemed to be deserving of special recognition.A total of 32 awards were made available, ranging from €10,000 to €100,000, totaling €1 million.

About the Campaign Supporters
Over 40 third party organisations around the world support the 1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke initiative. Please visit www.heartofstroke.com for information about these organizations, including the four global supporters.

About Boehringer Ingelheim

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 42,000 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.

As a central element of its culture, Boehringer Ingelheim pledges to act socially responsible. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim’s endeavors.

In 2010, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of about 12.6 billion euro while spending almost 24% of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.

References
1Stewart 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.
2Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke, World Health Organization, September 2004. Viewed March 2011 at http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/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.
4Saveliea I, et al. Stroke in atrial fibrillation: update on pathophysiology, new antithrombotic therapies, and evolution of procedures and devices. Ann Med 2007; 39:371-91.
5Lloyd-Jones DM, Wang TJ, Leip EP, et al. Lifetime risk for development of atrial fibrillation: the Framingham Heart Study.Circulation 2004; 110:1042-6.
6Goodacre S, et al. ABC of clinical electrocardiography. Atrial arrhythmias. Br Med J 2002; 324:594-7.
7Lin HJ, Wolf PA, Kelly-Hayes M, et al. Stroke severity in atrial fibrillation: the Framingham study. Stroke 1996; 27:1760-4.
8Kelly-Hayes M, et al. The influence of gender and age on disability following ischemic stroke: The Framingham Study. J Stroke Carebrovasc Dis 2003; 12:119-266.
9Hart GR, et al. Meta-analysis: Antithrombotic therapy to prevent stroke in patients who have nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Ann Intern Med 2007; 146:857-867.

Media contact

  • Judith von Gordon
    Boehringer Ingelheim

    Head of Global Media & PR
    Judith von Gordon
    Binger Strasse 173
    55216 Ingelheim am Rhein
    GERMANY

Media contact

  • Judith von Gordon
    Boehringer Ingelheim

    Head of Global Media & PR
    Judith von Gordon
    Binger Strasse 173
    55216 Ingelheim am Rhein
    GERMANY

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