Fashion Legend Oscar De La Renta Dies At 82

Barry Manilow Battling Heart Disease AFib

September 13th, 2011 12:36pm EDT

Barry Manilow Legendary crooner Barry Manilow has been battling a serious heart disease for more than 15 years.

The singer has opened up about his health condition for the very first time, revealing he's been secretly suffering from atrial fibrillation, more commonly known as AFib, which causes the heart to beat out of rhythm, sometimes causing permanent damage, stroke or heart failure.

The 68-year-old Grammy winner says, "When I first experienced AFib more than 15 years ago, it was really scary - it felt like a fish flopping around in my chest. I thought I knew about all the risks, but it turns out I didn't, so I was really lucky I had such great doctors helping me manage it from the start."

Now the Copacabana hit-maker has signed up to launch an educational campaign called Get Back In Rhythm, which urges Americans to learn about the symptoms and health risks of the disease.

He adds, "At first, I kept my AFib private because I didn't want to acknowledge there was something wrong with my heart. But now I realize a lot of my fans and so many others could be affected, so I want to do all I can to help them take it seriously, understand all the risks of AFib and seek the best care."

 "The bottom line is AFib needs more awareness. Patients need more education. No one should settle for a life out of rhythm."

Barry Manilow

 

Photo Credits: PR Photos