Patient Communities

Supporting trusted patient communities, empowering them to act as accurate and trustworthy sources of information for patients and their families. 

Atrial Fibrillation Education and Awareness

The AF Association is an international charity established in 2007 following requests from arrhythmia patients seeking support on this heart rhythm disorder. There are tens of thousands of members and 30 affiliated groups worldwide.

The charity is spearheading campaigns to make AF a healthcare priority, including international AF Aware Week, a global petition, Sign Against Stroke, and national initiatives to improve detection and treatment of AF.

In collaboration with the AF Association, we will help to improve awareness of the most common heart rhythm disorder in the world, atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is the most common type of arrhythmia, a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. AF occurs if rapid, disorganized electrical signals cause the heart's two upper chambers, the atria, to fibrillate.1

More than 71 million people across the world are affected by AF,2 which is associated with a high risk of heart failure, cognitive dysfunction, premature death3 and is the single biggest cardiovascular cause of stroke, increasing risk by up to 500%.4 AF-related strokes are more severe, more disabling and result in higher mortality compared to non-AF strokes.5 Not only is the impact on individuals and their families detrimental, the economic burden of AF stroke is huge, accounting for 2-3% of healthcare expenditure in the European Union (EU).6

Our collaboration with the AF Association is aimed at addressing the inefficiency in care and treatment of AF to curb the incidence of AF-related stroke through increased education efforts and public awareness. AF Association Founder and CEO, Trudie Lobban MBE says this is a vital step to reduce the prevalence of AF-related stroke worldwide. "We are delighted to welcome this collaboration to extend the awareness of AF risks and available treatment options for managing patients with AF who may have already suffered, or might be at risk of, AF-related stroke. We see this as an innovative alliance uniting heart and brain to redress life-limiting and potentially fatal strokes suffered due to AF, three quarters of which could be avoided."

We believe that this joint effort will be instrumental in raising awareness about World Stroke Day (29 October 2013) and sharing key messages through educational events and resources for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. One of these significant events will be AF Aware Week (24-30 November 2013), which will be the first week-long global initiative to promote better understanding of AF.


  1. National Lung Blood and Heart Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH), July 1, 2011.
  2. Based on AF prevalence (1%) cited in Miyasaka, Y. et al, Circulation 2006; 114; 119-125
  3. Miyasaka, Y. et al, Circulation 2006; 114; 119-125
  4. AF Association and ACE, The AF Report, 2006, London
  5. Lin HJ et al. Stroke 1996;27:1760–4
  6. Kirchhof , P. et al, How can we avoid a stroke crisis? Working Group Report: Stroke prevention in patients with A, 2009, Oxford PharmaGenesis Ltd

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Close the Gap: Are You at Risk?

In June 2006, a team of physicians and health care professionals from across the country came together to look at ways to address disparities in cardiovascular care for the underserved patient populations of women, black Americans, and Hispanic/Latino Americans. From these discussions, Close the Gap, a Boston Scientific educational initiative, was launched. Close the Gap focuses on three areas: community education, healthcare professional education, and adherence to guidelines.

Visit for more about Close the Gap ›

Controlling Your Pain

Need to talk to someone who understands first hand and cares how you feel? The Patient Ambassador Program lets you connect with people who have chronic pain and use a Precision™ Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) System to treat it.

Patient Ambassadors volunteer their time to share their experiences with you. They are not employees of Boston Scientific, and they do not replace the medical advice of your healthcare provider. What they offer is firsthand insight into how SCS therapy helps relieve their pain.

Visit, an online community for chronic pain sufferers. Learn about the experiences of other chronic pain patients.

Share your own stories. Join a chat room. And make new friends.