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Vermont hospital gets $1 million for heart research

A Vermont couple has donated $1 million to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington for heart research.

The grant from Tom and Mary Evslin of Stowe will go toward research into improving treatment for atrial fibrillation, a common type of rapid heartbeat.

About 5.5 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, which raises the risk for stroke and death.

The hospital says medication often doesn't provide a cure. An alternative is catheter ablation which uses heat to change how electricity flows through the heart.

The research project aims to design individual ablation therapy for specific patients.

The Evslins became aware of the research while they were heart patients at Fletcher Allen.

Fletcher Allen also announced on Thursday the creation of the Cardiovascular Angel Club to encourage similar giving.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.