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Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week (September 18 - 24)

Estimates suggest around 500,000 Australians are living with Atrial Fibrillation (AF), and yet a national survey* sponsored by hearts4heart revealed that half of Australian adults (10.1 million) know little, or nothing, about the condition.

This September (18 – 24), hearts4heart is launching its 10th Annual Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week to:

(1.) raise awareness about AF prevalence in Australia,
(2.) educate people about the symptoms and risk factors of AF, and
(3.) encourage people at risk of AF or experiencing symptoms to speak with their GP about getting their heart checked and learn ways to manage their heart health.

What is Atrial Fibrillation (AF)?

AF is a heart condition where the top chambers (atria) beat fast and erratically,  In AF, your heart may not pump blood around the body as well as it should.

If left untreated, AF can lead to serious health complications like stroke, heart failure, and dementia.1

AF triples heart failure risk and increases stroke risk up to 7-fold. 2

Are you at risk?

AF affects anyone but risk rises with age.

In fact, 1-in-20 Australians aged 55 and over live with AF.

Risk factors include:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Being overweight
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Having diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Age over 65 years

What can you do?

Recognising AF symptoms is key to early diagnosis, stroke prevention, effective management of the condition, and the best health outcomes.

Symptoms can include any of the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Ankle swelling
  • Chest pain

However, AF often has no symptoms, meaning you could have a hidden heart condition. Alarmingly, up to 30% of those living with AF are undiagnosed, and prevalence could double in a decade, emphasising the need for more AF education.

Want to check out your heart health?

If you’d like to know the health of your heart, the Royal Adelaide Hospital is conducting free screenings on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st September and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is doing the same on Friday 22nd  September. Click here to learn more.

If you’re over 65, or experiencing any of the above, don’t put your heart health on hold.

Speak to your GP and get your heart checked.

Discovering an irregular heartbeat could save your life.

Click here to download our Heart Arrythmia Symptom tracker
Click here to download our Atrial Fibrillation Explained Booklet
Click here to download our checklist Managing Atrial Fibrillation
Click here to download our Change the Beat Whitepaper
Click here to download our Atrial Fibrillation awareness poster

We always appreciate people helping us spread the word. If you would like to get involved in Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week, please email [email protected] for more information and shareable social media assets.

* The YouGov study surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,014 Australians aged 18 years and older in between 7th to 9th August 2023. The survey was conducted using an online survey administered to members of the YouGov Plc Australian panel of 71,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. After the survey’s completion, the data was weighted by age, gender, and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.


Heart Research Institute. (2022). Link between Dementia and Atrial Fibrillation. Available at: https://www.hri.org.au/news/link-between-dementia-and-atrial-fibrillation-irregular-heartbeat. Accessed: September 2023.  

Ball, J., Thompson, D. R., Ski, C. F., Carrington, M. J., Gerber, T., & Stewart, S. (2015). Estimating the current and future prevalence of atrial fibrillation in the Australian adult population. Medical Journal of Australia, 202(1), 32–35.