"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013

Best Blogs

Chicago Summit With My Fellow A-Fib Bloggers

Chicago Summit With My Fellow A-Fib Bloggers

By Steve S. Ryan, PhD

Steve at AHA conference Nov 2014

AFib Digital Influencer Summit

I was one of eight A-Fib bloggers and website creators invited to attend a first-of-its-kind “AFib Digital Influencer Summit” held in Chicago, IL November 15-16, 2014. It was sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Janssen is a unit of Johnson & Johnson. Disclosure: Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. paid for my travel expenses for the summit. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. The AFib Digital Influencer Summit convened web site creators and bloggers from around the US to discuss Atrial Fibrillation from a patient’s perspective.

AFib Digital Influencer Summit participants

AFib Digital Influencer Summit participants

The Janssen representatives were eager to hear our opinions even on the most controversial subjects. (For Janssen, it was like a kind of focus group.) Dr. JoAnne M. Foody, MD, from the Brigham & Woman’s Hospital in Boston, helped lead the discussions. Janssen representatives took copious notes and recordings. No subject was off-limits—conflicts of interest, how to deal with the psychological and emotional effects of A-Fib, long-term anticoagulant effects, problems with current guidelines—to mention only a few of the topics discussed. I’m not sure how they will use the info gathered or if they will publish any of it. I’ll be sure to publish any developments or conclusions that emerge from this summit.


The participants in the AFib Digital Influencer Summit were (in alphabetical order):

· Cathy Buckley, Facebook Groups—Atrial Fibrillation Support Forum
· Tracy Carracedo, ALongWayToBoston.com
· Shannon Dickson, Afibbers.org
· Debbe McCall, Facebook Groups—Atrial Fibrillation Support Forum
· Steve Ryan, A-Fib.com · Mellanie True Hills, StopAfib.org
· Travis Von Slooten, LivingWithAtrialFibrillation.com
· John Warmbrodt, Facebook Groups—What is Atrial Fibrillation?


The Summit was in conjunction with the launch of the “MyAFibExperience.org” an American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association and StopAfib.org program sponsored by Janssen. I saw a brief demo of the beta software at its inauguration at the AHA exhibit hall (along with Michael Waltrip’s stock car painted with ‘MyAFibStory.com’). MyAFibExperience.org is a personalized online community for atrial fibrillation patients and caregivers. Any data saved on the site when one joins is strictly for personalizing the experience of the user.

Steve with Michael Waltrip' MyAFIBStory.com NASCAR

Steve with Michael Waltrip’ MyAFIBStory.com NASCAR

In addition, to support A-Fib Awareness in September, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., partnered with professional race car driver, Michael Waltrip, and the American Heart Association. To help raise awareness, Michael Waltrip shared the story of his mother, who suffered a stroke due to untreated AFib that left her permanently disabled. Thousands of fans visited MyAFibStory.com to learn more and share a photo for a chance to have it be on the ‘#66 MyAFibStory.com car’ that Michael would race at the Geico 500 NASCAR® Sprint Cup™ race in October 2014. As a result, Janssen contributed over $53,000 to the AHA to support their efforts for AFib patients.

Our Unique Contribution to the A-Fib Community

Personally I am most grateful to Janssen for sponsoring this Summit. Many of us have been toiling in the trenches for years with little recognition. This Summit, in effect, recognized how important our web sites and blogs are to the A-Fib Community. We, Summit participants, are in a unique position. Unlike most other web sites, we are our own publishers, responsible only to our A-Fib patient readers and to ourselves. We can tell our readers what a particular study or medical development means to them as patients. We can interpret research, express our opinions, ask questions and pursue answers. We can draw conclusions that often doctors and researchers feel uncomfortable doing.

A few examples: We can say which of the new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) tested better than the others, which is safer, and which to avoid. (See my articles: The New Anticoagulants (NOACs) and Stop Prescribing and Taking Pradaxa). We can tell patients about the importance of Contact Force Sensing Catheters, but more importantly we can encourage them to seek out EPs using these catheters and exclude those who don’t. Our online destinations are the only places on the internet where patients can get this kind of frank, uncloaked information, especially when one considers that this is what A-Fib patients most need. A-Fib patients want and appreciate our efforts to go beyond impartial reporting to tell them how the research applies to their lives.

Welcomed Collegiality

It was a wonderful experience to be able to interact with so many really sharp, motivated colleagues. It may sound a little soap opera-ish to say this, but I don’t feel alone any more. (I often feel like John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness.) I hate to admit it, but I learned a lot from our lively discussions! Having these like-minded A-Fib patient advocates to communicate and discuss things with is an invaluable new resource.

Recommended Online Links and Resources

Recommended Online Links and Resources

We have personally picked these sites for you. We value the information they present. These online sites may be helpful when seeking additional information and research on A-Fib.

A Word of Caution: Some web sites for A-Fib patients may be biased toward a particular technique or approach, often for financial gain. When searching online always ask yourself, “Who is paying for this website, and what is their agenda?”

(In alphabetical order)

A-FibFacts.InfoA-FibFacts.Info: Resource of unbiased Atrial Fibrillation facts and statistics backed up with full research citations and sources. Useful for journalists, reporters, bloggers and educators. Sponsored by Steve S. Ryan and A-Fib.com; http://www.A-FibFacts.Info.

Pinterest logo with A-fib Facts A-Fib Facts on Pinterest: There’s lots of misinformation on the internet along with biased websites and out-of-date information. Links to the best sources for the truth about A-Fib and A-Fib treatments (#afib) http://www.pinterest.com/ssryan90265/a-fib-facts/

AF-Ideas: Analysis of the surgical options to cure A-Fib, and what doctors and/or centers perform them. By Dick Inglis.  http://www.af-ideas.com/Choosing treatment for atrial fibrillation.htmAmerican Heart Association

American Heart Association: heart disease/arrhythmia information; http://www.americanheart.org

AFA - UK; Atrial Fibrillation AssociationAtrial Fibrillation Association (AFA-UK): is a non-profit organization which provides information, support and access to established, new or innovative treatments for atrial fibrillation; patient advocacy and information sharing; UK branch and United States branch.

http://centerwatch.com Center Watch: an information source for patients interested in participating in current clinical trial; http://centerwatch.com 

Cleveland Clinic Foundation: the basics of A-Fib; http://www.clevelandclinic.org/heartcenter/pub/atrial_fibrillation/afib.htm 

Cleveland ClinicCleveland Clinic’s MyConsult Online Medical Second Opinion program: online fee-based consulting second opinion service (about $600.00); http://eclevelandclinic.org/myconsult (Not available in every US state and overseas.)

Clinical Trials.govClinical Trials: service provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); lists current federally funded and privately supported clinical trials; http://clinicaltrials.gov 

Dr Lam Dr. Lam 11 Strategies to Prevent Lone Atrial Fibrillation; Incorporating the best of the East and West may offer a sensible solution to a complicated issue.  http://www.drlam.com/articles/lone_atrial_fib.asp?page=4

DrugWatch.com: Informing patients about dangerous drugs and medical devices. Sponsored by the Paterson Law Firm. http://drugwatch.com/

Healthfinder: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; U.S. government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all HealthFinder.govAmericans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. Atrial Fibrillation search results-> http://www.healthfinder.gov/search/?q=atrial+fibrillation

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MedHelpThe Heart Forum/MedHelp: questions and support regarding heart issues, including A-Fib; Questions are answered by doctors from the Cleveland Clinic; http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Cardio/WWWboard.html

Heart Rhythm Center: good technical description of PVA(I) procedures; Robert S. Fishel, MD, FACC; http://www.heartrhythmcenter.com

Heart Rhythm Society Heart Rhythm Society: professional organization for cardiologists; A-Fib information and help in finding A-Fib doctors; http://tinyurl.com/HRS-Patient-Resources

Heart Rhythm Specialist - UK - logoHeart Rhythm Specialists (UK): well-written, readable, up-to-date A-Fib info and case studies from the largest EP center in England (the UK); http://www.heartrhythmspecialist.co.uk

Johns Hopkins Medicine Johns Hopkins Arrhythmia Service: “A Guide for Patients and their Families” (PDF). A 52-page guide focused on Arrhythmias (including A-Fib) descriptions of all diagnostic tests, drug therapy and catheter procedure; Includes out-of-area patient services and information. http://tinyurl.com/JohnsHopkinsArrhythmiaService

London AF CentreLondon Atrial Fibrillation Centre (UK): good explanations and graphics of A-Fib (where Prime Minister Tony Blair was treated); http://www.londonafcentre.co.uk 

MedIDs_com MedIDs medical ID wallet form: Print a blank medical ID wallet card provided FREE by MedIDs.com. Just click to open and print the form. Add your medical emergency information, then trim, fold and add to your wallet; http://medids.com/Pocket_Med_ID_Card.pdf

Medifocus logoMedifocus Guide and Digest Alert on Atrial Fibrillation: subscribe to free Medifocus Digest Alert on Atrial Fibrillation. http://www.medifocus.com/2009/digest.php?gid=OC016&a=a

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MedlinePlusMedlinePlus logo: designed by U.S. NLM/NIH for consumers, containing hundreds of topic pages including videos, health check tools, drug, herb and supplement info, links to Fact Sheets from other NIH Institutes, the CDC, etc., and more; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/

Medscape: Cardiology, Arrhythmia/EP; excellent articles, current research, and expert medical opinions on A-Fib; http://www.medscape.com/resource/atrialfibrillation 

MySleepApnea.org logoMySleepApnea: About 43% of patients with A-Fib have sleep apnea; Most don’t know it. Good information and videos (see the Shaq O’Neal  video). https://www.myapnea.org/learn

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:The NCCAM is the US http://nccam.nih.gov/about/ataglancegovernment’s lead agency for scientific research on complementary and alternative medicine; see pages: “Using Dietary Supplements Wisely” and  “How To Find A Complementary Health Practitioner“.

Nation Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteNational Library of Medicine (NLM)/National Institutes of Health (NIH): PubMed, MEDLINE & MedlinePlus databases of U.S. government agencies and health-related organizations; http://www.nlm.nih.gov and http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/arrhythmia.html

NY Presbyterian Hospital Columbia U Medical Center

New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University: describes Maze and minimally invasive surgeries for A-Fib; Using catheter ablation, we can completely cure atrial fibrillation. Watch video to find out more. http://www.afibsurgery.org

Polar logoPolar Heart Rate Monitors: helps you monitor your heart rate while exercising and/or while in A-Fib; http://www.polar.fi/polar/channels/eng/index.html 

PubMed & MEDLINE Database: over 24 million citations for biomedical literature, life science journals, and online books. Free resource of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)/National Institutes of Health (NIH); http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

St Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical: information about A-Fib including diagnosis and treatment: http://www.AFAnswers.com. For videos see: http://tinyurl.com/Videos-St-Jude


CHU Hopitaux de Bordeaux logoUniversity Hospital of Bordeaux, France, Cardiology and Electrophysiology Services: (Cardiologic Hospital of Haut-Lévêque): (referred to as “the Bordeaux Group”) Headed by Prof. Michel Häissaguerre, Electrophysiology and Ablation Unit head: Prof. Pierre Jais; URL: http://tinyurl.com/The-Bordeaux-Group

U of VAUniversity of Virginia Atrial Fibrillation Center: general info on A-Fib; diagnosis and treatment of Atrial Fibrillation; “There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach.” http://uvahealth.com/services/heart/atrial-fibrillation/patient-resources

UptoDate logoUp-to-Date: review of over 350 journals for new research findings on A-Fib; very comprehensive and current; Beyond the basics, for patients, requires a subscription either weekly or monthly. http://patients.uptodate.com/topic.asp?file=hrt_dis/4882 

WebMD: health information; Atrial Fibrillation Health Center, Living With Afib Directory; help in WebMD finding A-Fib doctors; Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Atrial Fibrillation; http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/atrial-fibrillation/default.htm


A Word of Caution: Some web sites for A-Fib patients may be biased toward a particular technique or approach, often for financial gain. When searching online always ask yourself, “Who is paying for this website, and what is their agenda?”

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