Value through Innovation25 July 2014
28 September 2012

Join the mission on World Heart Day 2012: call for signatures

Sign a petition to alert health organizations to the devastating strokes caused by an irregular heart rhythm

Ingelheim, Germany, 28 September 2012 – To mark World Heart Day tomorrow (29.09.12), the awareness initiative "1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke" is calling on millions of people to join together and raise awareness of the irregular heart rhythm atrial fibrillation by signing a global petition: www.heartofstroke.com/Petition. Since many people are not aware of the increased risk of stroke associated with atrial fibrillation, more needs to be done to raise awareness of this serious condition and ensure it is appropriately managed.

The 1 Mission 1 Million initiative asks anyone affected or concerned by heart diseases and rhythm disorders to sign the petition, which will be submitted to the world’s health organizations to ensure that atrial fibrillation is acknowledged as a serious condition and a risk factor for stroke.

Within families and among friends, most people will be able to identify someone, even a close relative, who has atrial fibrillation. People with atrial fibrillation are five times more likely to suffer a stroke and atrial fibrillation-related strokes are more severe and are associated with more disability than non atrial fibrillation-related strokes.1-3,4 The 1 Mission 1 Million petition, which has been developed in collaboration with the World Heart Federation, calls for action to be taken now to protect people from the devastating consequences of stroke.

Dr Kathryn Taubert, Chief Science Officer for the World Heart Federation

Dr Kathryn Taubert, Chief Science Officer for the World Heart Federation

"Every year, more than three million people worldwide have an atrial fibrillation-related stroke. Many of these strokes can be prevented so the World Heart Federation encourages everybody to join the mission to help save lives." said Dr Kathryn Taubert, Chief Science Officer for the World Heart Federation.

The 1 Mission 1 Million petition highlights specific measures that need to be taken to help prevent atrial fibrillation-related stroke, including: better awareness and education, earlier and better diagnosis, improved management and treatment of atrial fibrillation, as well as improved stroke prevention. Supporting, signing and sharing the 1 Mission 1 Million petition is a first step towards potentially saving millions of lives from atrial fibrillation-related stroke.

The 1 Mission 1 Million petition has been developed in collaboration with the World Heart Federation and is supported by AntiCoagulation Europe, the Arrhythmia Alliance, the Atrial Fibrillation Association and the Stroke Alliance for Europe. 1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

About World Heart Day
The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against heart disease and stroke with a focus on low- and middle-income countries via a united community of more than 200 member organizations. With its members, the World Heart Federation works to build global commitment to addressing cardiovascular health at the policy level, generates and exchanges ideas, shares best practice, advances scientific knowledge and promotes knowledge transfer to tackle cardiovascular disease – the world’s number one killer. It is a growing membership organization that brings together the strength of medical societies and heart foundations from more than 100 countries. Through our collective efforts we can help people all over the world to lead longer and better heart-healthy lives. For more information, please visit: www.worldheart.org; twitter.com/worldheartfed; facebook.com/worldheartfederation.

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.5,6 AF causes the heart to beat irregularly and often too quickly or too slowly.7 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.1-3,4 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.8

About 1 Mission 1 Million
1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke is a global disease awareness initiative, supported by leading health experts and more than 40 patient and professional organisations including AntiCoagulation Europe (www.anticoagulationeurope.org), the Arrhythmia Alliance (www.arrhythmiaalliance.org.uk), the Atrial Fibrillation Association (www.atrialfibrillation.org.uk), the Stroke Alliance for Europe (www.safestroke.org) and the World Heart Federation (www.world-heart-federation.org) and is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. 

In 2011, two million public votes were received online for 184 1 Mission 1 Million project submissions entered by individuals, patient and professional groups and healthcare centres across 36 countries. Each submission proposed an approach to increase awareness of AF-related stroke within the community whether through research, screening programmes or the creation of patient groups.1 Mission 1 Million awarded €1 million in funding to 32 winning projects spanning the globe from Malaysia to Canada across 18 different countries.

This year 1 Mission 1 Million is building on the success of 2011 to create an even bigger initiative, reaching more people worldwide. 1 Mission 1 Million will continue to support projects around the world which aim to help prevent AF-related stroke. 1 Mission 1 Million intends to provide a platform for patients, carers and all interested individuals to share their AF stories to inspire others to contribute to preventing AF-related stroke. The petition aims to unite people around the globe to support initiatives contributing to the aims of 1 Mission 1 Million.

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 44,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel medications 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 2011, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 13.2 billion euro. R&D expenditure in the business area Prescription Medicines corresponds to 23.5% of its net sales.

References
1Lin HJ, Wolf PA, Kelly-Hayes M, et al. Stroke severity in atrial fibrillation: the Framingham study. Stroke 1996; 27:1760-4.
2Kelly-Hayes M, et al. The influence of gender and age on disability following ischemic stroke: The Framingham Study. J Stroke Carebrovasc Dis 2003; 12:119-26.
3Kannel WB & Benjamin EF. Status of the epidemiology of atrial fibrillation. Med Clin North Am 2008;92:17-40.
4Wolf PA, Abbott RD, Kannel WB. Atrial fibrillation as an independent risk factor for stroke: the Framingham Study. Stroke 1991; 22(8);983-8.
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.
 Lloyd-Jones DM, Wang TJ, Leip EP, et al. Lifetime risk for development of atrial fibrillation: the Framingham Heart Study. Circulation 2004; 110:1042-6.
7Goodacre S, et al. ABC of clinical electrocardiography. Atrial arrhythmias. Br Med J 2002; 324:594-7.
8Hart 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

  • Julia Meyer-Kleinmann
    Boehringer Ingelheim

    Media & PR
    Julia Meyer-Kleinmann
    Binger Strasse 173
    55216 Ingelheim am Rhein
    GERMANY