When comedian Howie Mandel was diagnosed with a heart condition, it was hardly a joke. He tells Fox News
, he did not know the first thing about his condition — atrial fibrillation — but he is now trying to raise awareness about the ailment.
Before he was diagnosed during a routine checkup in 2009, Mandel, 58, had never heard of AFib, a type of irregular heartbeat that affects approximately 5.8 million Americans.
"I learned that it is an irregular heartbeat, but I didn’t even notice it," he said. "And then I found out if you have it, you’re five times more likely to have a stroke."
Although Mandel had been feeling lightheaded, dizzy and tired, he did not take the symptoms seriously, in part because he is an avid runner.
"I run seven miles a day, so I just thought I pushed it a little hard," Mandel said.
Since his diagnosis, Mandel manages his condition by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. He has also teamed up with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer for the "Fibs or Facts" campaign.
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