Heart Month: Risk Factors & Symptoms of AFib
The American Heart Association tells us that Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is one type of arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) that becomes more common with aging. The irregular heartbeats that characterize AFib can lead to stroke and other heart-related complications.
All types of AFib can increase the risk of stroke, and people with Atrial Fibrillation are almost 5 times more likely to have a stroke.
Risk Factors for Atrial Fibrillation – The Mayo Clinic
- Older adults/aging – The older you are, the greater the risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
- Heart disease and/or high blood pressure – Any history with heart disease and high blood pressure increases your risk of developing AFib; uncontrolled high blood pressure ups that risk factor.
- Other Chronic Health Issues – thyroid problems, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and lung disease.
- Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can cause AFib and binge drinking ups the risk factor.
- Obesity – Extra weight puts you at higher risk for atrial fibrillation.
- Genes – A family history of atrial fibrillation increases the risk factor.
Common Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) – American Heart Association
- Fatigue, particularly when exercising.
- Rapid and irregular heartbeat.
- Fluttering or “thumping” in the chest.
- Shortness of breath and anxiety.
- Faintness or confusion.
- Chest pain or pressure – never ignore this as it could be a heart attack; call 9-1-1 if you or anyone else is experiencing chest pain.
Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is the best prevention for developing Atrial Fibrillation.
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