Valerie Pledges Support for 1 million people living with Atrial Fibrillation

I signed  a pledge  to promote improved diagnosis, treatment and care for the more than 1 million people currently living with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) in the UK.


At an event held in Parliament hosted by the AF Association and APGAF on Wednesday 9th September 2015 , I received a simple pulse check and a single lead ECG reading using the AliveCor ECG device that enables people to check their heart rhythm by using their own smart phone or tablet.


AF is the most common heart rhythm disorder, and is associated with devastating consequences such as heart failure, AF-related stroke, poor mental health, and premature death. It is estimated that up to half of Britain’s AF patients remain undiagnosed, though a simple pulse check could quickly and easily detect the condition. As AF is more common in older patients, the number of people with AF is expected to double by 2050 as Britain’s population ages.


AF Association Chief Executive Trudie Lobban MBE, who hosted the event,  told me that   AF causes 12,000 debilitating and fatal strokes in the UK each year, and from the age of 40, we have a 1 in 4 life-time risk of developing AF. Early detection is vital, and with a simple pulse check or use of the AliveCor ECG device, detection can be quick and inexpensive. With the support of MPs and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on AF, we can ensure that improved detection, treatment and care for people with AF is prioritised to reduce thousands of avoidable deaths and costs to the health service.”