Care for abnormal heart rhythms

Abnormal heart rhythms: Europe-wide care ‘seriously lacking’ according to charity

Thousands of patients who suffer from abnormal heart rhythms are at risk due to poor care and sub-standard levels of information, according to a new report.

Published by campaigning group AF Aware, the study states patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) could be at risk due to poor diagnosis, which increases risk of hospitalisation. The report also found instances of failure to follow treatment guidelines and lack of quality information for patients and their families in NHS and European hospitals.

Common symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) include palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness. However, some patients with AF experience no symptoms. Proper diagnosis can cut risk of strokes and heart disease.

“AF is a serious, progressive and chronic disease, which can have devastating consequences on patients and healthcare systems” said Professor Günter Breithardt, spokesperson for the World Heart Federation. “This report highlights missed opportunities to manage AF more effectively, saving costs to European healthcare systems and most importantly, saving patients’ lives.”


The AF AWARE partnership, led by the World Heart Federation and the Stroke Alliance for Europe, is calling for European governments to respond to the report by allowing wider availability of disease registries to aid AF research; more country-specific educational tools on AF treatment guidelines; an assessment of clinical AF care; and more quality information for patients, including communication materials and clinical support. 

Fact file

Further reading about heart health across the UK and Europe:







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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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