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Health Risks of Atrial Fibrillation Raised During Awareness Month

AtriCure Seeks to Improve Lives by Encouraging Education and Treatment for People with Afib

WEST CHESTER, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 19, 2013-- September is Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) Awareness Month and AtriCure, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATRC) encourages those who are affected to participate in “ACT Against Afib,” a new campaign focused on raising awareness of the risks of Afib and the various treatment options available. AtriCure is a leading developer of medical devices used in the treatment of Afib and offers the only FDA-approved device for the surgical treatment of Afib.

“ACT” is an acronym used to communicate the three simple steps involved in understanding the risks and treatment options available for Afib patients. The three steps include: Assess your risk, Consult with your doctor, and Treat your Afib. A dedicated website, patientsact.atricure.com, contains more information on the campaign along with links to risk assessment tools, physician locators and a review of treatment options from leading medical societies and patient organizations.

Afib is the most common irregular heartbeat. Symptoms of Afib can include heart palpitations, dizziness, extreme fatigue and shortness of breath, although some people may not feel any symptoms. Afib results in quivering of the upper chambers of the heart (or atria) that, unless properly treated, can lead to serious health issues including stroke, heart failure and impaired quality of life. During episodes of Afib, blood may pool within the atria and form clots that can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Those with atrial fibrillation have a 500 percent greater risk of stroke than the general population, and Afib-related strokes are twice as deadly as other strokes.

“As the creator of Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month and a patient who has been Afib-free for eight years due to a surgical procedure, I am very pleased to see the ACT Against Afib campaign help raise awareness of this condition,” says Mellanie True Hills, founder of StopAfib.org, a leading resource for Afib patients. “This program will encourage collaboration between patients and their physicians to address the risks and treatment options for this devastating condition that takes so many lives.”

Afib is often associated with common heart conditions like valve and coronary disease. Roughly 40 percent of patients undergoing mitral valve procedures and 15 percent of coronary by-pass procedures have Afib. A short add-on Afib correction procedure, called the Maze IV, has been shown in multiple clinical studies to achieve high cure rates with low complications. Unfortunately, due to a lack of awareness and education among physicians and patients, only one in four patients with Afib undergoing a valve or by-pass procedure receives a surgical Afib procedure.

"Lack of Afib awareness and education leaves tens of thousands of patients already in the operating room for heart procedures not receiving a low risk, high cure procedure,” according to Marc Gerdisch, MD, chief of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at St. Francis Heart Hospital in Indianapolis and member of AtriCure’s Surgeon Education Steering Committee. “I fully support the ACT campaign and the effort around broader awareness and discussion of treatment options between patients and their physicians," said Dr. Gerdisch.

AtriCure’s commitment to advancing the treatment of Afib includes substantial investments in education and clinical science. Over the past 18 months, the company has focused intently on training physicians in the surgical treatment of Afib. To date they have trained more than 1000 surgeons via classroom, hands-on training and case support using world-renowned Afib experts as faculty.

The company is also conducting the largest and most detailed multicenter clinical trial on the surgical treatment of Afib. This trial will establish the long-term durability of their landmark FDA-approved Synergy Ablation System and Maze IV procedure by monitoring patient heart rhythms for at least three years after the procedure. This month, the trial passed the halfway point in patient enrollment.

More information about Afib is available at StopAfib.org.

About AtriCure, Inc.

AtriCure, Inc. is a leading atrial fibrillation solutions partner, providing innovative products, professional education and support for clinical science to reduce the economic and social burden of atrial fibrillation. AtriCure's Synergy Ablation System is the first and only device approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the surgical treatment of Persistent and Longstanding Persistent forms of Afib in patients undergoing certain open heart procedures concomitantly (simultaneously). AtriCure's AtriClip™ Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) occlusion device is the most widely implanted device for LAA management worldwide. Afib affects more than two million people worldwide and is estimated to cost more than $6.5 billion annually in healthcare expenses. The number affected by Afib is expected to grow to 12 million by 2050.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements that address activities, events or developments that AtriCure expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future, such as earnings estimates, other predictions of financial performance, launches by AtriCure of new products and market acceptance of AtriCure’s products. Forward-looking statements are based on AtriCure’s experience and perception of current conditions, trends, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate under the circumstances and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond AtriCure’s control. These risks and uncertainties include the rate and degree of market acceptance of AtriCure’s products, AtriCure’s ability to develop and market new and enhanced products, the timing of and ability to obtain and maintain regulatory clearances and approvals for its products, the timing of and ability to obtain reimbursement of procedures utilizing AtriCure’s products, competition from existing and new products and procedures or AtriCure’s ability to effectively react to other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in AtriCure’s SEC filings, such as fluctuation of quarterly financial results, reliance on third party manufacturers and suppliers, litigation or other proceedings, government regulation and stock price volatility. AtriCure does not guarantee any forward-looking statement, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. AtriCure undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Source: AtriCure, Inc.

Rasor Marketing Communications
Becky Fickenworth, 513-793-1234
becky@rasormarketing.com