Crooner’s heart skips a beat

Barry Manilow educates about atrial fibrillation

Music legend Barry Manilow can appreciate a steady beat, but he’s also no stranger to the irregular variety. For the last 15 years, Manilow has suffered from atrial fibrillation (AFib)—or abnormal heart rhythm—and now he is dedicated to educating the public about the condition.

He is the spokesman for Get Back in Rhythm, a national AFib-education campaign aiming to increase awareness of the importance of treating the disease, according to media sources. AFib greatly increases the risk of permanent heart damage, heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Symptoms include heart palpitations, weakness, shortness of breath and anxiety. Twenty-five percent of people with AFib don’t experience any symptoms.

While 2.5 million Americans currently suffer from atrial fibrillation, that number is expected to double or triple in the next decade as the baby-boomer generation ages.