The perception of af

Do you think the perception og af has chsnged over the last frw years?

When i was first diagnosed 20 years ago, the attitude of gp's snd csrdiologists seemed to me to be that this is a condition of little consequence- keep taking the pills and live with it. No consideration of th efffects on the suffers lifestyle etc and not even a mention of risk of stroke.

now 15 -20years later i have found a sea change in the medics.

I am not so sure about the general public though. i still get comments like " ...oh i get palpitations" and almost jokes about having a "dicky ticker" etc

I would be interested in the thoughts of others.

5 Replies

  • You are right. These days when people say that to me I always say "do yourself a favour and get that checked out then " that usually worries them and then they spend the next half hour comparing symptoms with me! X

  • Hi Dave, Yes a lot has change in the last ten years never mind the last 20. I was chatting to Prof John Camm on Wednesday and he commented that when he did his training AF was considered to be a normal arrhythmia and of little consequence. The link with stroke was only really promoted from late 2007 onwards in fact and I well remember the meeting in September that year when I first heard of it. Having had AF for some years by then I was pretty appalled!

    Much of what has happened is the direct result of the efforts of Arrhythmia Alliance and Atrial Fibrillation Association in U K who have been banging on doors both medical and governmental for ten years now and without whom we would not have Chapter 8 of the NHS framework which covers arrhythmias.

    Most public have never heard of AF but more and more are doing . I often find people tell me "Oh yes my Aunt/Uncle/Grandfather etc had that" and of course when sportsmen come out and admit it this helps public perception.. Diagnosis is still very patchy however and I have a sneaky feeling that the figures for un-diagnosed people with AF may well be sadly underestimated. Treatment is still something of a lottery with many old style GPs not bothering with anticoagulants and just reaching for the bisoprolol prescription and aspirin if you are lucky but the new NICE guidelines come out on June 18th and we are all hopeful that a more joined up treatment course will be laid out.

    One last thing on my hobby horse and that is that I never call AF a disease. It is a condition in my book and one to be managed rather than endured.


  • I'm glad perception has changed, when you read old novels there were always humorous cranky ladies who would come over with 'palpitations' when stressed, and I think this really hung over until the link with stroke was discovered. Thank goodness things have moved on!


  • Thanks for asking the question and I'm glad to hear the answers coming through. I've only just registered on this website over the weekend, having only just found out about the AF Assoc this week with the announcement of the new NICE guidelines coming and the uselessness of Aspirin which I've been taking for the 20 years I've had AF!. I'm feeling a little uneasy as well reading through this site, I realise I haven't given my health a thought for quite some years. I've been stable on my meds (I made a comment about being stable on Flecainide for the last 18yrs yesterday) and haven't seen a consultant for the last 10, they just stopped sending for me and I just got on with life. I've heard about ablations but don't think my condition warrants it having read what some are going through. The links to stroke are very alarming especially as I've had this so long already, I'm not 50 yet! I think it's time for a check up!

  • Yes the attitude to AF has changed some doctors base their whole careers on it now hence the title Electrophysiologist Cardiologist...and thank goodness for those guys doing research into this and new trial studies of which I have agreed to take part in if I get randomized but won't know this until after my first ablation...

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