The third annual AF Stat working group meeting brought together more than 34 representatives from 28 national health organizations. Meeting in Washington, D.C. on October 24th, attendees participated in a dynamic and productive dialogue about AFib, including health services utilization, quality of care, genetic and racial/ethnic implications and healthcare reform.
The meeting was led by AF Stat's Founding Chair, Eric Prystowsky, MD, Director of the Clinical Electrophysiology Laboratory at St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, as well as Cardiology Co-chair Keith Ferdinand, MD, Association of Black Cardiologists, Chief Science Officer and Director of Clinical Research at the Atlanta Clinical Research Center.
- AFib costs the U.S. more than $12 billion dollars a year.
Michael Kim, MD, Associate Director of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory at Northwestern University, presented research findings showing the growing healthcare cost burden of AFib and the costs of AFib patients in comparison to patients without the disease. To learn more, read Dr. Kim's article in Advances in Therapy: Cost of Atrial Fibrillation in United States Managed Care Organizations here.
- AFib has a major economic impact on states, but minimal educational resources exist.
Research from the AFib in America: State Impact Reports highlights the high costs and the disproportionate lack of resources that result from the disease. Professor Christine Ferguson, JD, and Lead Research Scientist and Lecturer Brian Bruen, MS, both from the School of Public Health and Health Services at The George Washington University, encouraged policymakers, state health officials and other health leaders to better educate residents about this common but misunderstood disease. The full reports, including individual state statistics and resources, are available here.
- Family ties play a key role in AFib.
Dr. Ferdinand presented research showing that people who have a first-degree relative (parents, children and/or siblings) with AFib have a forty percent higher risk of developing the disease. The risk of AFib is even higher depending on age of onset. Ultimately, the research results underscored the importance of knowing your family health history. Just like annual check-ups, updating your family health history is part of routine healthcare maintenance.
Colleen Kearns Chandler
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