(BPT) – When celebrity game show host Howie Mandel was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib) not caused by a heart valve problem, he didn’t know that he was one of approximately 5.8 million people living in the U.S. with the condition or that it put him at a five times greater risk of stroke.
“I was shocked when I learned how serious this condition is,” said Mandel. “Since then, I’ve tried to learn everything I could about AFib. Now, I am challenging others to learn more about AFib and its increased risk of stroke at www.FibsOrFacts.com.”
Fibs or Facts
The Emmy(R)-nominated game show host makes a living challenging people, and now he’s teamed up with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer to encourage people to test their knowledge of AFib and its increased risk of stroke with the Fibs or Facts educational campaign.
“Because AFib is really close to my heart, it is important to me to share my experience with it and help others learn more about AFib and its increased risk of stroke,” said Mandel.
Mandel is encouraging people to visit www.FibsOrFacts.com to take the Fibs or Facts quiz to test their knowledge while raising money for National Stroke Association. For each person who completes the quiz, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer will make a $1 donation to National Stroke Association, up to $25,000.
A medical opinion
“Nearly one in four people over the age of 40 will develop AFib,” said Dr. Annabelle Volgman of Rush University Medical Center. “Yet many people are unfamiliar with the condition and its increased risk of stroke,” said Dr. Volgman.
With AFib, the top chambers of your heart (the atria) do not contract properly to push blood through the heart. As a result, some blood remains in the atria, which can pool, and a clot may form. These clots can travel to the brain, blocking or limiting blood flow, and result in a stroke. In fact, 15 percent of strokes are attributable to AFib not caused by a heart valve problem.
If you have AFib not caused by a heart valve problem, it’s important to talk to your doctor about treatment options that can help reduce the risk of stroke.
The Fibs or Facts campaign is sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer. Howie Mandel is a paid spokesperson.