New anticoagulants more favourable

Forbes, 5 December 2013

A very large new study finds a favorable risk-benefit for the new oral anticoagulant drugs in the setting of atrial fibrillation. The findings, published online in the Lancet, were remarkably consistent for all four of the new agents which have been fighting to replace warfarin, which was the only oral anticoagulant available for decades until the arrival of the new agents. Although warfarin is inexpensive, it has numerous interactions with other drugs and foods and requires regular monitoring and dose adjustments. The new agents can be taken once or twice a day and do not require dose changes.

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Pulse check could be rain check for stroke

Queensland Health, 28 November 2013

Cardiologist Dr Gerald Kaye is encouraging everyone to ‘Know your Pulse’ so that preventable strokes can be avoided – particularly in people over 50.

Dr Kaye is encouraging Queenslanders to be aware of atrial fibrillation (AF) which is an irregularity or arrhythmia of the heart causing palpitations or a fluttering of the heartbeat, chest pains or fainting spells.

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Emergency Medicine Review

Issue 4, 2013

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Emergency Medicine Review

Issue 3, 2013

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Atrial Fibrillation Research Review

Issue 8, 2013

This issue features:

- Anticoagulant use in AF management

- AF risk factors in postmenopausal women

- Warfarin vs. dabigatran during catheter ablation for AF or LA flutter

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Know your heart rhythm this World Heart Day

AF Association, 27 September 2013

Know your heart rhythm this World Heart Day (Sunday 29th September 2013). Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disorder in the world, but there are still many people who are unaware they have it. A simple pulse check could help you monitor your heart rhythm. If it is frequently irregular, this could be a sign of AF.

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Should you stop taking your anticoagulant medication before heart surgery? A new study suggests maybe not.

Everyday Health, 26 September 2013

For decades, it's been standard practice for people to not take blood thinners before surgery in order to prevent excessive bleeding during or after their procedures. But recent research, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in May 2013, found that performing surgery to implant a heart-stimulating device — a pacemaker or a cardioverter defibrillator — without stopping the anticoagulant warfarin actually reduced the risk for bleeding after the operation.

Steven Reisman, MD, a cardiologist and director of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center, said that the current standard of care calls for warfarin to be stopped before surgery in those patients who are considered low-risk for stroke.

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Finger pulse check could identify heart disease

Daily Mail, 7 September 2013

Checking the pulse in the finger could predict risk of heart disease, according to a study.

Researchers found that the finger’s pulse can measure stiffness in the aorta – a common risk factor for heart disease.

In the new procedure instrument called a transducer is placed on the finger or over the brachial artery, located inside the arm just beneath the elbow.

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Warning for joint replacement patients with AF

Athritis Foundation, 6 September 2013

It’s not news that people taking blood thinners for A-fib have an increased risk for complications such as bleeding problems, slow wound healing and infection when they undergo surgery. “But this has never been studied for joint replacement patients,” says Dr. Ong. “It is interesting because legislation has been put forth to decrease hospitalization cost and hasten recovery of patients undergoing joint replacement. Unfortunately, we are dealing with an aging population who are likely to have A-fib.”

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Catheter ablation could reduce stroke risk in AF

Cardiac Rhythm News, 5 September 2013

A first of its kind study has shown that patients with atrial fibrillation who undergo catheter ablation have a lower stroke risk than patients who do not undergo the procedure independent of CHADS2 score. The study also found that the stroke risk of atrial fibrillation patients treated with ablation was similar to patients with no history of atrial fibrillation over time.

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Australian Research Review

21 August 2013

This issue features rivaroxaban after transition from vitamin K antagonist, apixaban vs. warfarin for stroke prevention in AF and costs of stroke prevention in nonvalvular AF.

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Smartphone ECG could prevent strokes

10 August 2013

Fifty thousand Australians are at high risk of stroke because of dangerous undiagnosed heart rhythm problems, says a cardiologist who believes he has found a solution.

University of Sydney Professor Ben Freedman says a cheap iPhone-based ECG system will help identify people before they become ill.

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Arrhythmia Alliance Australia launched

Arrhythmia Alliance, 6 August 2013

A new health promotion charity, Arrhythmia Alliance (The Heart Rhythm Charity) has been launched to promote better understanding, diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from heart rhythm disorders (cardiac arrhythmias).
The charity launched at a patient meeting at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane to provide information, education and support to anyone living with or caring for someone with a cardiac arrhythmia.

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Pradaxa PBS listing confirmed

Pharmacy News, 5 August 2013

Anticoagulant, Pradaxa (dabigatran) will be PBS listed from 1 September 2013, it has been confirmed, two and a half years after it was first recommended.

The decision to list the drug for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation came two and a half years after the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) initially recommended it.

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Australia Emergency Research Review

Issue 2, 2013

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Benefits of Pradaxa® maintained in difficult to treat patients with atrial fibrillation and symptomatic heart failure

Yahoo! New Zealand, 16 July 2013

Published in the European Journal of Heart Failure, results from a new sub-analysis of the RE-LY® trial demonstrate important benefits of Pradaxa® (dabigatran etexilate) over warfarin in difficult-to-treat patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) and previous symptomatic heart failure (HF). The outcomes in heart failure patients were consistent with the results from the main RE-LY® trial: Pradaxa® 150mg twice daily reduced the risk of stroke including ischaemic stroke with similar rates of major bleeding compared to warfarin and Pradaxa® 110mg twice daily showed similar rates of stroke but significantly reduced major bleeding compared to warfarin. Importantly, both doses of Pradaxa® significantly reduced intracranial as well as total bleeding.

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Rivaroxaban PBS start date revealed

Medical Observer, 9 July 2013

The first of the “next generation” of anticoagulants will be available on the PBS for stroke prevention from 1 August, while two PBAC-recommended competitor products still await a listing date.

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Dabigatran PBS listing 'imminent'

Pharmacy News, 1 July 2013

An announcement is expected within days on the long-delayed PBS listing of the novel oral anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa) for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim says.

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Warfarin consumer resources

NPS Medicinewise, 18 June 2013

As part of the 2013 Achieving Good Anticoagulants Practice national program, NPS MedicineWise has developed new resources for people taking warfarin.

The Warfarin Dose Tracker and the Living with Warfarin fact sheet are intended to support your professional conversations with people taking warfarin, or their carers.

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Australian AF Research Review

Issue 6, 2013

This issue features changes in atrial fibrillation (AF) inducibility due to ablation are of prognostic value for ablation outcome. A subanalysis of the ARISTOTLE trial suggests that rates of stroke or systemic embolism are lower in paroxysmal AF compared to persistent or permanent AF, whereas a post-hoc analysis of the GISSI-AF trial found no difference in thromboembolic events between patients with paroxysmal and persistent AF. Anticoagulation in AF should therefore probably be on the basis of stroke risk (CHADS score) rather the type of AF.

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Dabigatran: Australia issues bleeding warning

The Australian regulatory authority, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), has issued a "safety advisory" on the new oral anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim) because of an increase in the number of bleeding-related adverse events reports received since more people starting taking the drug.

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Cold Comfort

Maui News

But the Kihei woman recently had a portion of her heart frozen in a cutting-edge procedure to cure her irregular heartbeat, also known as atrial fibrillation. The condition had left her gasping for air doing such minor activities as walking.

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Stroke patients dying needlessly: study

ABC Sydney

A new study has found that Australian doctors could save more lives if they made better use of stroke drugs. Researchers from the University of New South Wales and Ingham Institute studied more than 26,000 stroke patients who also had Atrial Fibrillation (an irregular heart beat).

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Jury still out on new drug for strokes

The Sydney Morning Herald

The Gillard government has reversed its delayed listing of new drugs but sparked fresh controversy over the deferral of an advanced treatment for more than 200,000 people at high risk of stroke.

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Obesity could be courting Atrial Fibrillation

Research conducted by the University of Adelaide has found an increased positive correlation between obesity and the presence of Atrial Fibrillation among patients.
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Heartbeat strokes can be prevented

Sydney Morning Herald
According to experts, better medication and awareness about irregular heartbeats could slash the number of strokes suffered by Australians each year. A new report on preventable strokes estimates nearly 7,500 will occur in Australians with irregular heartbeats or Atrial Fibrillation (AF) in 2011.
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Experts urge GPs to consider warfarin for all AF patients over 75

By Lilian Anekwe GPs should consider all patients over 75 for anticoagulation therapy because of the poor performance of NICE-approved tools for predicting stroke risk in older patients with atrial fibrillation, researchers conclude. ...

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Would you test your child's genes to predict their future health?

Daily Mail
Probably the most alarming finding was that the biggest health risk for both Anthony and me is atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat, which usually comes with old age. This can cause blood clots and strokes. Anthony has a one in three chance of ...

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Students Recruit President Kim as First “Patient” to Test Telemedical Invention

Dartmouth Now
The system could provide a way to remotely monitor atrial fibrillation—the most common heart arrhythmia—on a daily basis. It would enable more timely and effective treatment for the often asymptomatic condition ...
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Hybrid Procedure May Offer Better Outcomes for Persistent and Longstanding Persistent Atrial Fibrillation
According to Dr. Edgerton, “Hybrid ablation is better than either afib surgery or catheter ablation alone in terms of effectiveness, and it also should ...

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Lynda’s search for information

Highlighting the need for more awareness and information on Atrial Fibrillation.

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1 Mission 1 Million – Getting to the Heart of Stroke

Atrial Fibrillation Association is calling on its members to get involved in a new global initiative to raise awareness of Atrial Fibrillation and its link to stroke. €1 million is available to fund projects, chosen by the public, that take action to reduce the risk of stroke caused by Atrial Fibrillation.

The 1 Mission 1 Million initiative offers the opportunity to participate in a far-reaching, global campaign and to be featured on the global campaign website. 1 Mission 1 Million is being supported by leading health experts in Atrial Fibrillation and is sponsored by the pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim.

Further details of the campaign and the procedure for applying can be found on

What is your pulse telling you?

Brisbane Times
The research showed almost half (47 per cent) of those polled had not heard of atrial fibrillation, and yet two-thirds reported they had health conditions ...
See all stories on this topic »


Poll shows ignorance of deadly heart disease . . .

A poll of older Australians has revealed a widespread lack of awareness of a condition that dramatically increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. The research showed almost half (47 per cent) of those polled had not heard of atrial ibrillation, but two-thirds reported they had health conditions that were its warning signs.

Professor Ben Freedman, a cardiologist at Concord Hospital and Deputy Dean of the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney said, “AF is now a very common condition with one in five at risk of developing AF during their life. Unfortunately, the community is largely unaware of AF or the conditions that predispose to it. People are not aware that simply checking their own pulse could lead to a diagnosis of AF and treatment which could save their life or prevent a stroke.”
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Dr Gerry Kaye, Electrophysiologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital said, “Although we know that the prevalence AF is becoming more common due to the ageing population, many cases still remain undiagnosed because Australians are not aware of the warning signs.”
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Dr Michael Davis, Cardiologist, Hollywood Private Hospital said, “The low level of awareness of this serious heart condition is particularly concerning given in the last 15 years, hospitalisations for AF have more than tripled.”
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Channel 10 News Video - Download and play using your media player


Undiagnosed heart condition costs Australian health system $1.2 billion

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Serious risks of AF are widely misunderstood

Medical Observer
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AF is too often mis-understood, recent press accounts highlight

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Research highlights potential benefit of S-ICD System

Research highlights the potential benfits of S-ICD System; the First Minimally Invasive Implantable Defibrillator for the Treatment of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

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NHS Choices - Your Information Prescription

Patients and carers have been campaigning for a means to find information they can trust and rely on. Information prescriptions are being developed as a quick and easy way to provide information relevant to an individual's condition and local services

Bob suffered for ten years until AF . . .

. . . was eventually diagnosed. Routine pulse checks could have avoided this

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Robot arm used in heart surgery first in Leicester

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Eating fish has no effect on abnormal heart rhythm

About a quarter of people will develop atrial fibrillation in their lifetimes, Berry and his team note in the American Journal of Cardiology.
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Patients with heart arrhythmia can still drink coffee: study
Atrial fibrillation occurs when the electrical signal that triggers the heart to pump blood becomes irregular, leading to abnormal contractions of the atria ...
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Heart defects in young people can go undetected until serious trouble begins

Herald & Review
Once at the hospital, Kathy Claflin was informed that her son was in atrial fibrillation, a type of arrhythmia in which the heart's atria quiver and beat ...
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Patient Calls for NICE to Think Again over Dronedarone

IT is his last hope of having a normal heartbeat – but the rationing watchdog NICE is refusing to make the new £2-a-day drug available on the NHS.

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Prof. John Camm discusses dronedarone (Multaq) and vernakalant ...

At Boston Atrial Fibrillation Symposium 2010, Prof. John Camm talked about the two newest antiarrhythmic drugs for atrial fibrillation treatment, ...

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A Watchman looking after your heart

Daily Mail
By Oona Mashta A new implant is set to transform the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), the debilitating heart rhythm disturbance that affects 500000 ...

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Back In Hospital with Af Again

I joined this AF site today as it has only just been set up by Trudie Lobban founder of the Atrial Fibrilation Association here is a link all memebers on . . .

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My heart has gone haywire - and all because I'm so tall

When the England rugby legend Bill Beaumont went for a routine knee op, the last thing he expected was to be told he had a heart problem.


Major boost for cardiac services in Wales

Arrhythmias account for more than 3,000 sudden deaths each year in Wales and places a considerable burden of disease on Welsh communities. Approximately 3 to 5% of attendances at emergency departments and 1 to 3% of hospital admissions are due to unexplained loss of consciousness.


New Health Report Exposes Imminent Risk of a Stroke Crisis in Europe

Urgent coordinated action is needed to avoid the thousands of preventable strokes that leave many atrial fibrillation (AF) patients mentally and physically disabled or dead, every year. A report, How Can We Avoid a Stroke Crisis?, launched in the European Parliament today by Action for Stroke Prevention, a group of health experts from across Europe, proposes measures to tackle stroke in patients with AF, the most common, sustained abnormal heart rhythm and a major cause of stroke[1]. Their proposal, endorsed by 17 leading European medical professional and patient organisations, calls for EU policy makers and Member State governments to act before the increasing frequency of these strokes becomes a major public health crisis. Download full report

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AF screening could prevent 4,500 strokes a year

Opportunistic screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients aged over 65 could help to prevent up to 4,500 strokes a year, according to NHS Evidence. Read More

The First HeartSafe™ Golf Club in the UK

Farrington Golf & Country Club in Farrington Gurney, Somerset has become the first Golf Club in the UK to have a Public Access Defibrillator.  This means that anyone visiting Farrington Golf & Country Club, will have the peace of mind that a defibrillator is immediately available should anyone suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  Read More

Cyclists complete charity ride

Paceline cyclists complete charity ride to raise awareness for cardiac arrythmias. Read more

BBC Documentary Needs You . . .

Do you or someone you know suffer from an undiagnosed medical complaint which is affecting your quality of life? Are you hoping to find the cause? Shine TV would like to hear from anyone interested in taking part as a contributor in a new pilot for BBC One where we take successful applicants through a range of tests in order to diagnose the condition. 
If interested please contact Kate on with a description of your symptoms and an explanation as to how they are affecting your life.

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital gets first 3D heart scanner

Liverpool Daily Post
A procedure called ablation therapy is used to treat the most common type of arrhythmia, Atrial Fibrillation (AF). Currently, doctors rely on X- rays and ... Read more

The NICE clinical guideline on Depression

The NICE clinical guideline on Depression with a chronic physical health problem; the guideline can be viewed on the webpage below.


Dabigatran versus Warfarin in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation 

New England Journal of Medicine (subscription)
Methods In this noninferiority trial, we randomly assigned 18113 patients who had atrial fibrillation and a risk of stroke to receive, in a blinded fashion, ...See all stories on this topic


The history of pacemakers, a device used to regulate the beating of the heart in people with an irregular heart rate.

Click here to read more


Doctors told Kirsten her heart palpitations were nothing to worry about . . . but they were horribly wrong.

Daily Mail 21st  April

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Global Health Partner AB: Atrial Fibrillation – First Patient ...

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
Arrhythmia Center Stockholm has today performed the first treatment of atrial fibrillation in the new facility at Södersjukhuset in Stockholm. ...
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Watch the 500,000th pacemaker operation - Mark Gallagher, a Consultant Cardiologist, talks through the procedure.

The 500,000th pacemaker operation in the UK has taken place - at the same hospital, St George's, London, which carried out the first such procedure in 1958.
BBC News - UK
Mrs Trudie Lobban , founder of the Arrhythmia Alliance said: "Although implants have increased in the UK by 5% each year, we need an increase of 15% per ...