STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, England, June 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Arrhythmia Alliance, the Heart Rhythm Charity, announced today the results of a survey conducted in Europe that showed a large number of respondents ignore basic measures to check for potential cardiac arrhythmias, or heart rhythm disorders. To raise awareness of the importance of pulse checking and to inform people about how to take their pulse, the Arrhythmia Alliance will open 2010 World Heart Rhythm Week (7-13 June) with the launch of the global awareness campaign 'Know Your Pulse'.

Taking your pulse rate is a quick and easy way to identify a heart rhythm problem which in some cases could potentially have serious implications - explained Prof A John Camm, President of Arrhythmia Alliance. Being aware of your pulse rate is the easiest way for a patient to check for a potential cardiac arrhythmia and may suggest when to contact a healthcare professional for further investigation.

According to the survey results, nearly 40 percent (37.6%) of respondents do not take their pulse regularly, and 70 percent (70.3%) are unaware if they are at risk of a cardiac arrhythmia. In addition, nearly 60 percent (57.4%) of the respondents who have taken their pulse in the past would not know how to take it again.

Arrhythmias are heart rhythm disorders that can cause a range of conditions including Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) - a leading cause of death in Europe[1], syncope (blackouts or loss of consciousness), and atrial fibrillation (a leading cause of stroke, and the most common of all cardiac arrhythmias). Conditions caused by heart rhythm disorders kill more people in Europe than breast cancer[2], lung cancer[2], stroke[3] or AIDS[4].

Surprisingly, anyone at any age can be at risk. Sudden Cardiac Arrest can affect the young and even athletes who are physically fit, for example, commented Trudie Lobban, Founder and Trustee of Arrhythmia Alliance. This is why on World Heart Rhythm Week this year, we are launching a campaign to encourage people to put into place simple measures that can make a real difference, and detect potential heart rhythm disorders for an early diagnosis and treatment.

The 'Know Your Pulse' campaign also seeks to raise awareness amongst healthcare professionals of the importance of conducting regular pulse checks during normal patient check-ups so that cardiac arrhythmias are given as much attention as other conditions. Almost 80 percent (79.62%) of survey respondents felt that it is important that healthcare professionals acknowledge this.


Download a 'Know Your Pulse' check card and web application now from to monitor your pulse.

About the 'Know Your Pulse' campaign

The 'Know Your Pulse' campaign is coordinated by Arrhythmia Alliance, a global coalition of patients, medical professionals and caregivers dedicated to providing education, information and support for people with cardiac arrhythmias. For more information please visit

About Arrhythmias

A cardiac arrhythmia is an electrical problem causing the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or erratically. Symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, and unexplained blackouts.

About the survey

An online survey was commissioned by Opinion Health, an independent survey house, and was completed by 750 respondents in Italy (n=250), Portugal (n=250), and the UK (n=250).


[1] Priori S et al. Task Force on Sudden Cardiac Death, European Society of Cardiology, Summary of recommendations. Europace (2006) 4, 3-18

[2] International Agency for Research on Cancer, Globocan 2000. Cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence worldwide.2001

[3] World Health Organization (WHO). WHO Burden of Disease and Injury (Dataset-2002). World Health Organization

[4] CIA. The World Fact Book - Rank Order - HIV/AIDS - deaths. Available at

SOURCE: Arrhythmia Alliance

CONTACT: For more information, please contact: Caroline Butt, Phone:+44-20-7331-5340, Email: