September 28th, 2015
Editor’s note: Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a type of irregular heart beat. It can sometimes be felt as a fluttering or “thumping” in the chest. Since the heart isn’t pumping properly, blood may pool in the upper chambers and form a clot. This clot can break free, travel to the brain, and cause a stroke.
In honor of AFib Awareness Month, 39-Time Grand Slam Tennis Champion Billie Jean King and 14-Time Basketball All-Star Jerry West are working with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, to help raise awareness about this health condition. Below, they share their stories. Plus, read on for a simple tool to help you evaluate your risk.
When I hit the court as a Los Angeles Laker, I loved the feeling of making a game-winning play and knowing I was on top of my game. But when I had to start breathing into a paper bag during games to keep from hyperventilating and my heart felt out-of-rhythm, I knew something was wrong. It wasn’t until after I stopped playing professional basketball that I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular heartbeat and one of the most common serious heart rhythm disorders in people over the age of 65.