Through a nationwide campaign to spread awareness about a condition which is the root cause of as many as 16,000 strokes every year, the British Heart Foundation is urging people to check their pulse more often and take serious notice if it is abnormal. The condition, known as Atrial Fibrillation, affects around 800,000 people in the UK and is mainly characterized by irregular and abnormal heart rhythm.
People over the age of 55 are more at risk of contracting the condition, and have up-to 5 times more chances of suffering a stroke. If the condition is detected early, it can easily be taken care of through blood thinning drugs and treatments.
A survey of over 2,000 general subjects revealed that people are more likely to check their passport expiry date, i.e., 57%, than their pulse, i.e., 32%. Also, only about 28% knew that checking the pulse is important and a health check they can and should carry out on themselves. This was far less than the 80% who knew about breast cancer self examinations and 90% who knew to check for testicular cancer.
To help educate people better about the condition and how it can be prevented, the BHF has a dedicated phone line which can be reached at 0300 333 2 333, as well as a special area on its website - bhf.org.uk/pulse.