A new campaign from Bayer is using rock 'n' roll to raise awareness of atrial fibrillation (AF) related stroke risk among people aged 60 and over.
The Hey You campaign focuses on beats and rhythms to encourage people who came of age during the Swinging 60's to pay attention to the rhythm that matters most of all - their heartbeat.
AF is the most common form of irregular heart rhythm, affecting around 1.5 million people in the UK. The condition increases the risk of stroke sixfold and half of AF patients who suffer a stroke don't survive for more than 12 months.
However, research suggests that better awareness and management of AF-related stroke risk could help prevent up to 7,000 strokes and 2,000 premature deaths each year.
Eve Knight, co-founder and chief executive of AntiCoagulation Europe, said: “50 per cent of people living with AF don’t realise they have it, and many don’t recognise the symptoms until they have a life-threatening stroke.
"As well as being a major cause of death a stroke can dramatically disrupt the lives of survivors and their families, and many people who have had a stroke live with disability and reduced quality of life."
Dr Yassir Javaid, GP with an interest in cardiovascular health, added: “If you have been diagnosed with AF, talk to your doctor to make sure you’re doing everything you can – including receiving appropriate treatment and care – to reduce your risk of stroke and enable you to continue living your life to the full.”
AF can affect anyone at any age, but is most common in those aged 65 or over. Prevalence is expected to more than double over the next 50 years, reaching three million by 2050.
Besides an irregular heartbeat, AF symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and fainting.
In keeping with the music theme, Hey You is being supported by rock session drummer Clem Cattini, who has played with The Kinks. He said: “As a drummer, I’ve provided the beats for bands for decades and have always taken rhythm seriously. As I have grown older, having the right rhythms in my life has helped me to keep feeling vibrant.”
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