Take a study to know your risk for developing Atrial fibrillation

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 4:49 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - AFib is a common form of irregular heart rhythm impacting up to six million Americans. Unfortunately, each year, AFib results in more than 150,000 deaths and 450,000 hospitalizations in the U.S.

People over the age of 65 are at the greatest risk of developing AFib. But sadly, up to 30 percent of people don’t even know they have it until a serious cardiovascular event, such as stroke, occurs because people often do not experience symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose.

A new, first-of-its-kind study – the Heartline Study is a virtual one that allows adults 65 years and older with an iPhone to actively engage in their heart health and contribute to important research from the comfort of their home. The Heartline Study app on iPhone will provide ongoing education, tips, surveys and questionnaires across multiple heart health topics. This study seeks to explore if a heart health engagement program in the study app and, in some cases, the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch can reduce the likelihood of stroke and improve health outcomes.


· AFib is a leading cause of stroke in the U.S. It may be without symptoms or may result in symptoms like heart palpitations (flutters), light-headedness, and shortness of breath.

· AFib rates also increase with age – approximately 70 percent of patients with AFib are between the ages of 65 and 85.

· There are many different resources that can help you stay healthy while at home.

On Tuesday, Dr. C. Michael Gibson, a interventional cardiologist, and Dr. Paul Burton, Chief Global Medical Affairs Officer for Janssen Pharmaceuticals, joined the Deep Bench on NewsChannel 7 at 4, to provide tips and resources to empower those 65 and over to get a jump start on their heart health safely at home.They also talked in depth about the Heartline Study and shared how easy it is to get involved because of the virtual nature of the study. There are no doctor or hospital visits, making it more accessible to join, no matter where you live.

For more information, visit

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