A NEW local group has been set up for patients with heart rhythm disorders.

Around 1.5 million people in the UK suffer from some form of heart arrhythmia, with many not seeking medical advice despite having a fivefold increased risk of stroke compared to those without arrhythmia.

Treatment varies from simple medication to having a pacemaker implanted, and the use of anticoagulant drugs reduces the risk of a stroke down to that of a person without the condition.

This Andover-based arrhythmia patient support group meets quarterly at Andover Memorial Hospital.

With local GP Dr Jim Rose as medical lead and the active support of cardiac consultants and specialists among others, the group draws on high-level medical expertise and is registered with Arrhythmia Alliance, the heart rhythm charity.

Patients and their carers with this condition are invited to come along to the next meeting, which is free of charge.

The meeting is on Wednesday, 12 March, in the Conference Room at Andover Memorial Hospital, Charlton Road, starting at 6pm.

Meet from 5.30pm in the hospital’s Peaches Restaurant.

Christopher Pitt, Andover.