Right at the heart of the mat­ter

The Leader (Nelson) - - WHAT’S ON - SA­MAN­THA GEE

Those liv­ing with an ir­reg­u­lar heart beat will have a chance to quiz a car­di­ol­o­gist about it.

Car­di­ol­o­gist elec­tro­phys­i­ol­o­gist Dr Daniel Garo­falo said atrial fib­ril­la­tion (AF) was strongly as­so­ci­ated with age. It is es­ti­mated 46,000 Ki­wis live with AF, one of New Zealand’s fastest grow­ing forms of heart dis­ease.

‘‘It is a rhythm dis­or­der where the heart’s reg­u­lar rhythm con­trolled by the nat­u­ral pacemaker goes into a more ir­reg­u­lar, er­ratic rhythm.

‘‘It can give no symp­toms at all or it can be very de­bil­i­tat­ing for peo­ple suf­fer­ing from it.’’

An in­for­ma­tion ses­sion for peo­ple liv­ing with atrial fib­ril­la­tion, a heart con­di­tion that in­creases the risk of stroke, will be held on Fri­day June 8.

Garo­falo said peo­ple di­ag­nosed with the con­di­tion were cu­ri­ous about the prog­no­sis and treat­ment op­tions. Symp­toms could in­clude pal­pi­ta­tions, breath­less­ness, dizzi­ness, de­creased ex­er­cise tol­er­ance and fa­tigue.

Treat­ment in­cluded med­i­ca­tion, ab­la­tion pro­ce­dures to scar the heart tis­sue and pre­vent in­cor­rect elec­tri­cal sig­nals and blood thin­ners to pre­vent stroke.

‘‘It is a con­di­tion that is worth ad­dress­ing and treat­ing, even if it is not symp­to­matic.’’

Heart health ad­vo­cate Averil West said liv­ing with heart dis­ease or re­cov­er­ing from a heart event could be lonely and chal­leng­ing for peo­ple.

‘‘We want to reach out to bring peo­ple liv­ing with atrial fib­ril­la­tion and their fam­i­lies to­gether in a warm, sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment that al­lows them to meet, learn and share their ex­pe­ri­ences.’’

Garo­falo will dis­cuss the con­di­tion, treat­ments for AF and life­style mod­i­fi­ca­tions. There will be an op­por­tu­nity to ask ques­tions.

The Heart Foun­da­tion liv­ing with atrial fib­ril­la­tion in­for­ma­tion ses­sion will take place at 10.30am on Fri­day June 8.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to reg­is­ter, con­tact Averil on 03 545 7112, or email aver­ilw@heart­foun­da­tion.org.nz. There is no cost to at­tend.


The Heart Foun­da­tion are hold­ing an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion to­mor­row on liv­ing with atrial fib­ril­la­tion in Nel­son.

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