Join the mission to help prevent one million strokes due to atrial fibrillation

Did you know that there are more than 50,000 strokes in Canada each year? That’s one stroke every 10 minutes. What’s more, up to 15 per cent of all strokes are caused by atrial fibrillation or AF, a serious heart condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly and strokes caused by AF are more severe and disabling.

Ottawa resident Hannah Sibeth knows first-hand the impact AF and stroke can have on a person’s life. She is currently living with AF and is caring for her husband who suffered a stroke due to AF two years ago and is now undergoing therapy to regain his speech and mobility.

“Caring for someone who has suffered a stroke is extremely challenging. On top of this, I am living with AF and trying to stay healthy to prevent a stroke myself,” says Mrs. Sibeth.  “What worries me most is who will take care of my husband should something happen to me? That’s why it is important that every Canadian aged 55+ know and understand their risk of AF because strokes due to AF could be preventable, if you take steps to reduce the risk of stroke.”

With the click of your mouse, you can help draw attention to this important issue. With the goal of generating one million signatures, campaign sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim is calling upon the World Health Organization (WHO), its member states and health authorities from around the world to recognize AF as a risk factor for stroke and set clinical management targets. The 1 Mission 1 Million — Getting to the Heart of Stroke public education campaign was developed by Boehringer Ingelheim to raise awareness and help prevent one million strokes worldwide due to AF. Canadians can visit to sign the petition and help make a difference.

Atrial fibrillation affects almost 2.7 million people in North America — with 350,000 in Canada alone. People living with AF are three to five times more likely to suffer from a stroke and twice as likely to die from one. The effects of a stroke can be life transforming and can include: paralysis, effects on speech and memory, thought and emotional processes. After the age of 55, a person’s risk of AF doubles with each decade of life, so it’s important that Canadians speak with their doctor about their risk.

“I am encouraging everyone to take just five minutes out of their day to sign the petition to get influential global bodies, like the WHO, to recognize the seriousness of AF and its potential impact on families,” says Mrs. Sibeth.

For more information about the 1 Mission 1 Million — Getting to the Heart of Stroke program and/or to sign the petition visit Please show your support and join the mission!