More than a million affected by heart condition in UK

More than a million people in the UK now live with a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly and can lead to strokes.

BHF urge people to check pulse to reduce risk of stroke

Checking your pulse is a simple way of seeing if you are at risk of a heart condition that could lead to strokes, the chief executive of the British Heart Foundation has said, after new research revealed that more than a million people had been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

Simon Gillespie said:

The real danger with atrial fibrillation is that some people don't realise they have it. You can be going about your daily routine oblivious to the fact you're five times more likely to have a devastating stroke.

[Only] through research can we tackle this dangerous disorder and prevent its devastating consequences.

Heart beat irregularity condition 'can lead to strokes'

The British Heart Foundation has revealed that more than a million people in the UK now live with a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly and can lead to strokes.

According to the research:

  • The heart condition causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate, frequently leading to dizziness and shortness of breath
  • Sufferers may also feel palpitations and become very tired
  • A normal heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats a minute when a person is resting, with a regular rhythm
  • Some people with atrial fibrillation have no symptoms and are completely unaware that their heart rate is irregular
  • If left untreated, atrial fibrillation can significantly increase the risk of a blood clot forming inside the heart, which increases the risk of stroke five-fold
  • The BHF said atrial fibrillation is responsible for 22,500 strokes a year in the UK

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More than a million affected by heart condition in UK

More than a million affected by a heart condition Credit: Public Health England

More than a million people in the UK now live with a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly and can lead to strokes.

Data from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) shows the UK has, for the first time, topped the million mark in the number of people diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

The figure is up almost 20% on five years ago. High blood pressure, heart valve disease and binge drinking are among the causes alongside the fact people are living longer.