Pink Prescriptions - June 2024

World Heart Rhythm Week: Is Your Heart Beating Properly?


June 2024 Issue — Pink Prescriptions

World Heart Rhythm Week:
Is Your Heart Beating Properly?

World Heart Rhythm Week (WHRW) is June 3-9 this year. The week is dedicated to education and awareness of heart rhythm disorders and here’s why it’s important:

Your heartbeat is the most fundamental rhythm in your life, signaling the regular pumping of your heart as it sends blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your body. It’s easy to take this regular beating for granted, never giving it a second thought, until the masterful control process goes wrong. The consequences can be devastating! When your heart rhythm is not at a consistent pace, you may have an arrhythmia.

During this week, the Arrhythmia Alliance, whose mission is to improve the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for all those affected by arrhythmias, hosts a series of events to raise awareness of arrhythmias amongst both healthcare professionals and the general public, while also promoting its 2024 theme of sustainability: ACT SMART. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE HEART!

Why is World Heart Rhythm Week important?
Arrhythmias may be completely harmless, or they can be life-threatening, even fatal. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately one in 18 people, or 5 percent of the U.S. population has an arrhythmia. Some arrhythmias are brief and don’t affect overall heart rhythm. But if arrhythmias last longer, they may cause a normal heart rate to be too slow, too fast, or erratic, causing the heart to pump less effectively.

Atrial fibrillation (AFIB/AF) is the most common arrhythmia and is a major public health problem affecting 59 million people worldwide. AFIB/AF increases a person’s risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attack, dementia, and death, which all affects a person’s quality of life.

AF-related stroke is the biggest risk of having atrial fibrillation. Fifteen percent of all strokes occur due to atrial fibrillation because blood flow in the upper chambers of the heart is sluggish and may allow clots to form. These clots can potentially travel to the brain, causing an AF-related stroke.

How do I know if I, or someone I love, has a heart rhythm disorder?
It’s important to know your heart rate and rhythm! It can be as simple as knowing your pulse. Does your heart beat like a drum? Does it race like a cheetah, or flap like a fish? DO you feel like you have a bag of worms in your chest? You could have an arrhythmia (heart rhythm disorder). This could prove fatal, despite simple, quick treatments being available. Knowing your pulse to know your heart rhythm – could save your life!

The Arrhythmia Alliance’s Know Your Pulse (KYP) ( program promotes the need to be aware of your pulse and the need to perform routine manual pulse checks. You should learn to take your pulse and understand what is normal. If pulse checks were routine, thousands of lives could be saved, and thousands of debilitating AF-related strokes could be prevented every year.

Are treatments available for heart rhythm disorders?
If you suspect you have a heart rhythm disorder, seeing a health care professional is your first stop. Have a discussion with your doctor and explain what you are experiencing.

If you are diagnosed with a heart rhythm disorder, there are many treatments available to protect your heart from further damage and help you live a longer and healthier life. There are medications, procedures, and devices, such as a pacemaker, available to assist your doctor in helping you. It is very important to make sure you follow your treatment plan. The American Heart Association reports people with AFIB have three to five times greater risk of stroke.

How can I protect myself from heart arrhythmias?
Not all arrhythmias can be prevented, and children can even be born with an arrhythmia. However, the key to reducing your risk for arrhythmias is to take the best possible care of your heart. You can do this by managing your existing health conditions, following a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding substances that can trigger arrhythmias.

Take care of your heart by avoiding caffeine, quitting (or never starting) smoking, reducing stress, knowing side effects of certain medications, and taking care of your overall health are important steps in protecting your heart.

How does the theme of WHRW in 2024 connect to sustainability?
In the United States, approximately 200,000 individuals undergo cardiac device implant surgery each year. When a device user dies, the device is buried with them. However, if the deceased chose to be cremated, the device must be removed from the body prior to cremation (along with most metal implants, including hip, knee and shoulder replacements.) Any device explanted is discarded either as medical waste, or often just placed in a waste box and forgotten.

In stark contrast, in low and middle-income countries, nearly 2.5 million people die every year because they do not have enough money for a lifesaving cardiac device operation.

Arrhythmia Alliance Pace4Life program ( tackles this disparity head-on by donating used and sterilized cardiac devices to people in need in low and middle-income countries, who otherwise would not be able to afford the lifesaving device. The Alliance sources cardiac devices with at least 5 years of battery life left, identifies viable clinics, sets up programs at these clinics, and trains local cardiac teams, organizes pacing missions, and provides ongoing online support to those programs. By doing so, those living with heart rhythm conditions may have access to this life-changing technology.

Arrhythmia Alliance Pace4Life program is making a difference in the world by saving lives, one cardiac device at a time. This program also reduces waste in landfills because we are able to recycle the unusable devices for their precious metals.

How can I learn more about heart rhythm disorders?
Arrhythmia Alliance has a vast library of resources and videos to help educate yourself on heart arrhythmias. You can find them at and on all social media channels.

About Arrhythmia Alliance Arrhythmia Alliance (A-A): working together to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for all those affected by arrhythmias. A-A is a coalition of charities, patient groups, patients, caregivers, medical groups, policy makers and allied professionals. Although these groups remain independent, they work together under the A-A umbrella to promote timely and effective diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias.
A-A provides information, education, support, and awareness to all those affected by or involved in the care of heart rhythm disorders.

If you have any questions and want to learn more,
please utilize these resources:

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Call: 843-415-1886

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