African American man in wheelchair at risk of having AFib

Atrial Fibrillation

Feeling more tired than usual? Think your heart is racing? Don’t ignore the signs – it’s time to see a doctor.

Who’s at Risk?

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

fourty nine percent

Obesity is associated with a 49% increased risk of developing A-Fib1

two times

Women with A-Fib have twice the risk of a stroke compared with men2

Woman thinking about Atrial Fibrillation awareness

About Atrial Fibrillation

In AFib, the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat rapidly and irregularly (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 LAA and travels to another part of the body, it can cause a stroke.

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

tired icon Fatigue (feeling very tired)
Anxiety icon Shortness of breath and anxiety
confussion icon Faintness or confusion
chest pain icon Chest pain or pressure
dizzinessicon Dizziness
weakness icon Weakness
sweating icon Sweating

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How to Get 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.

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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 of receiving appropriate care. You can help protect your and your family’s health and lower your risks with simple lifestyle changes.

Lower your risk

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.

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quote I'm getting younger every day
African American man shows understanding of Atrial Fibrillation
Two women discussing about finding a local heart specialist

Need a Doctor You Can Trust?

They’re out there, and we have a tool to help you find them.

Find a doctor

Resources & Support

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
  • Find a doctor near you
  • Review questions to ask your doctor
  • Get reliable rides to your appointment
  • Understand common medical terms

References:
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.