May is Stroke Awareness Month

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The link between atrial fibrillation and stroke

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a major risk factor for stroke. It’s a common condition in which the upper chambers of the heart beat very quickly and irregularly. As a result, blood is not pumped effectively to the rest of the body and may pool and clot. If a clot dislodges, it can travel to the brain and result in a stroke.

If you’ve had a stroke, you are at greater risk for having another (recurrent) stroke.

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At least one in four Americans who have a stroke will have another stroke within their lifetime.1

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AFib increases the risk of stroke more than five times.2

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Up to 80% of strokes are preventable.3

Long-term heart monitoring can help

Advanced solutions are now available for continuous heart monitoring after a stroke. Information sent from a heart monitor can help your doctor determine if you have AFib.

A tiny, insertable heart monitor can watch your heart for 3–4.5 years.* The automatic detection in the monitor can catch abnormal heart rhythms as they happen and send that information directly to your doctor. If it is determined that you have experienced AFib episodes, your doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment to help prevent another stroke from occurring. Talk to your doctor about your heart monitoring options and their risks and benefits.

Learn more about Medtronic insertable heart monitors.

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Clinical studies have shown that for many stroke patients, it could take more than 80 days for AFib to appear because the episodes happen rarely, and often without symptoms.4-5

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88% of unexplained stroke patients who had AFib would have been missed if they were only monitored for 30 days.4

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Your doctor may ask you to wear a portable heart monitor for several days to try to identify AFib, but — in some cases — a longer-term option may be needed.

   

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*

Battery longevity varies by device. See device manual for specific parameters.

References

1

Preventing Another Stroke. American Stroke Association. Available at: https://www.stroke.org/en/life-after-stroke/preventing-another-stroke. Accessed March 15, 2022.

2

Wolf PA, Abbott RD, Kannel WB. Atrial fibrillation as an independent risk factor for stroke: the Framingham Study. Stroke. August 1991;22(8):983-988.

3

Prevention. American Stroke Association. Available at: https://www.stroke.org/en/professionals/stroke-resource-library/prevention. Accessed March 15, 2022.

4

Sanna T, Diener HC, Passman RS, et al. Cryptogenic Stroke and Underlying Atrial Fibrillation (CRYSTAL AF). N Engl J Med. June 26, 2014;370(26):2478-2486.

5

Bernstein RA, Kamel H, Granger CB, et al. Effect of Long-term Continuous Cardiac Monitoring vs Usual Care on Detection of Atrial Fibrillation in Patients With Stroke Attributed to Large- or Small-Vessel Disease: The STROKE-AF Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2021;325(21):2169–2177.