What Is Atrial Fibrillation?
Feeling more tired than usual? Think your heart is racing? Don’t ignore the signs – it’s time to see a doctor.
About Atrial Fibrillation
In AFib, the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat rapidly (fibrillate). This can cause blood to pool and form clots in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage. When a blood clot escapes from the Left Atrial Appendage and travels to another part of the body, it can cause a stroke.
Who’s at Risk for Atrial Fibrillation?
Significant racial and ethnic differences exist when it comes to the rates of atrial fibrillation (AFib). This is important for many reasons, including the fact that someone with AFib is 5 times more likely to have a stroke than someone with a regular heartbeat
Obesity is associated with a 49% increased risk of developing A-Fib1
Women with A-Fib have twice the risk of a stroke compared with men2
Manage Your Risk Factors
You may be at an increased risk for certain disease states due to your race, ethnicity and gender – but these factors shouldn’t stand in the way to receiving appropriate care. You can protect your health, starting with learning the lifestyle changes that lowers risks the most.
Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms
People with AFib might not have symptoms and only learn about their condition after a doctor conducts an exam. When there are symptoms, the most common one is the feeling of a quivering or fluttering heartbeat.
What to watch for
|Fatigue (feeling very tired)|
|Shortness of breath and anxiety|
|Faintness or confusion|
|Chest pain or pressure|
How Atrial Fibrillation Is Diagnosed
Check your risk. Seeing a doctor can save you precious time and money in the long run, since the sooner
you catch a possible problem and start treating it, the better off you are.
Atrial Fibrillation Treatment
Treatment options may be different depending on the kind of AFib you have. Blood thinners are an effective way to lower the risk of stroke in people with AFib not caused by heart valve problems. For people who need an alternative to blood thinners, there are procedures to keep blood clots from forming.
Resources & Research
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Boston Scientific talked to patients around the country to find out what resources would be most helpful and designed this resource page with your needs in mind.
- Learn about health conditions and treatments
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Learn About Diversity in Clinical Trials
Women and minority clinical trial volunteers are needed in order to create meaningful medical research that applies to people of all backgrounds.
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- Learn the basics about participating in clinical research
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1 Staerk, L. et al. (2017). Atrial Fibrillation: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Clinical Outcomes. Circ Res 2017 Apr 28: 120(9): 1501-1517. Doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.117.309732.
2 Bai, C et al. (2018). Sex differences in Atrial Fibrillation – Update on Risk Assessment, Treatment, and Long-Term Risk. Curr Treat Options Cardio Med (2018) 20: 79. DOI: 10.1007/s11936-018-0682-3.