Jo urges constituents to ‘know your pulse’

Jo has lent her support to the campaign to help raise awareness about Atrial Fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder in the UK.


Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance encountered by doctors, and the Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA) estimates that 772 people in East Dunbartonshire suffer from it. Common symptoms include palpitations, tiredness, shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain. AF is thought to be responsible for 18% – 20% of all strokes suffered in the UK.

The AFA is calling on people who are worried they might be suffering from AF to book a simple check up with their GP. A simple pulse check is a quick, low cost way of detecting AF. The AFA are also calling for pulse checks to be made a routine procedure within the NHS Health Check programme.

Commenting, Jo said:

“It is astonishing to think that an estimated 772 people in East Dunbartonshire have atrial fibrillation, and the possibility that many more have it but as yet have not been diagnosed. It is important that this condition is understood by medical professionals and patients so that they can be identified at an early stage and treated accordingly.”

Trudie Lobban MBE, CEO and founder of the AFA said:

“We are delighted that Jo Swinson MP is supporting our campaign to raise awareness of Atrial Fibrillation, both in Westminster and in the wider context. This is a little-known condition, yet estimates suggest that AF exerts a considerable economic toll on the NHS. For example, patients with primary or secondary diagnosis of AF accounted for an estimated 5.7 million bed days in 2008, at a cost to the NHS of £1.8 billion.”

The Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA) is a UK registered charity which focuses on raising awareness of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) by providing information and support materials for patients and medical professionals involved in detecting, diagnosing and managing Atrial Fibrillation (AF). AFA works closely with medical professionals, Department of Health, Government, NHS Trusts, PCTS, patients, carers, patient support group members and allied groups. Further information can be found at and on the NICE website (

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