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World Heart Federation launches AF awareness campaign

The World Heart Federation, sanofi-aventis and Boehringer Ingelheim have announced their collaboration on the AF AWARE (Atrial Fibrillation AWareness And Risk Education) campaign to raise awareness of atrial fibrillation (AF) and its links to severe consequences including cardiovascular (CV) mortality, stroke and CV hospitalizations.

The campaign aims to promote education around the risks associated with AF as well as highlight the importance of early diagnosis and comprehensive management to maximize patient outcomes.

The World Heart Federation will lead the initiative internationally and will also work closely with SAFE (Stroke Alliance for Europe) and the Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA), to deliver the programme. Agreements have been established with sanofi-aventis and Boehringer Ingelheim for a co-sponsorship.

Johanna Ralston, Chief Executive Officer, World Heart Federation, said: “The AF AWARE campaign was established to specifically address the lack of awareness and endeavours to draw attention to this serious, chronic disease, the consequences of which can have devastating effects on patients and healthcare systems.”

“Despite the fact that the complications of AF can be severe, for many people living with AF, the condition has very little noticeable impact on their lives, and in some cases goes undiagnosed and untreated, resulting in strokes that could be prevented” said Klaus Dugi, Corporate Senior Vice President Medicine, Boehringer Ingelheim. “We are delighted to support the AF AWARE campaign in 2011, as it is critical that effective action is taken now for individuals living with AF and their families, to ensure the optimal management of the condition, reducing the number of strokes related to AF”.

A recent report found that the lives of thousands of people living with AF could be at risk due to delay in time to diagnosis, poor adherence to treatment guidelines and lack of information for patients suffering from this debilitating heart condition.(1) Using data from 10,000 AF patients, the REALISE AF registry showed that about 29% of AF patients had a CV event leading to unplanned hospitalization in the last 12 months.(2)

Dr Nazira Amra, Associate Vice President, Global Anti-Arrhythmics Strategy, sanofi-aventis, said: “Sanofi-aventis has been supporting AF AWARE since its inception and we are delighted to continue this global initiative in collaboration with the World Heart Federation and Boehringer Ingelheim in order to raise AF awareness and promote better access to information for patients, their caregivers and health care providers”.

For further information:
Charanjit Jagait
Director of Communications, World Heart Federation
Tel: +41 22 807 0334

1. Barham, L. Atrial Fibrillation in Europe: How AWARE are you?, November 2010. Available from: [accessed 9th February 2011]

2. Steg G. Realise AF cross sectional registry. ESC 2010. Available from: [accessed 9th February 2011]

Published on: March 3, 2011

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