Medbroadcast  Powered by MediResource
 Search

Go
 Browse alphabetically
ABCDEFGHIJKLMN
OPQRSTUVWXYZ
HEALTH TOPICS
Family & Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Seniors' Health
Addiction
Allergy
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
Asthma
Atrial Fibrillation
Baby Health
Back Health
Bedwetting
Bladder (Overactive)
Brain Health
Cancer
Childhood Vaccinations
Cholesterol
Crohn's & Colitis
Cold and Flu
COPD NEW!
Cosmetic Procedures
Depression NEW!
Diabetes
Digestive Health
Ear Health
Eating Disorders
Eye Health
Flu (Seasonal)
Fertility
Fitness
Healthy Skin
Heart
High Blood Pressure
HPV
Hyperhidrosis
Incontinence
Infection
Kidney Health
Lung Health
Medications and your Health
Menopause
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis NEW!
Natural and Complementary Therapy
Nutrition
Obesity
Oral Care
Osteoarthritis of the Knee NEW!
Pain
Pregnancy
Psoriasis
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Seasonal Health
Sexual Health
Sleep Health
Stroke Risk Reduction
Smoking
Weight Management
Workplace Health
Yeast Infection
All health channels

STAY CONNECTED
RESOURCES
Ask an Expert
Clinical Trials
Find a Specialist
Health features
News
Tools


Condition Info Drug Info Tests and Procedures Natural Products Ask an Expert Support Groups Clinical Trials
Home Bookmark Page Send to a Friend Sante Chez Nous Subscribe
Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial Fibrillation
About atrial fibrillation
Do I have atrial fibrillation?
How can atrial fibrillation harm me?
How is atrial fibrillation treated?
Living with atrial fibrillation
Doctor Discussion Guide
Have you heard of arrhythmia? What about heart flutter or irregular heartbeat? These are terms often used to describe a heart rhythm problem called atrial fibrillation. Find out more about this common yet largely unknown medical condition.
Atrial Fibrillation resources
Health features
Health tools
Support groups
Related conditions
Related medications
Tests and procedures


Why should I be concerned about atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation (also known as AF or AFib) is the most common type of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat or heart rhythm). The most common symptom of AF is heart palpitations (an irregular and rapid heartbeat, typically experienced as a rapid thumping in the chest). You can live an live active, healthy life with treatment. However, you may be at risk of serious complications associated with AF, especially if it is not properly managed or treated.

Atrial fibrillation increases your risk for stroke, heart failure, and being hospitalized. Learn more about these complications in "How can atrial fibrillation harm me?" The good news is there are many ways to effectively manage atrial fibrillation. Your doctor can discuss atrial fibrillation with you and address any concerns you may have. If you have questions about atrial fibrillation or want to know if you are at risk for atrial fibrillation, talk to your doctor.

AF increases your risk for stroke. In AF, the electrical signals in the atria (upper chambers of the heart) are so fast and disorganized that they cannot pump blood effectively into the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart). As a result, blood pools in the heart (the atria chambers) and blood clots can form in the atria. These clots can then travel to the brain or other parts of the body. A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks blood from reaching the brain. Blood clots can also travel to other parts of the body and cause damage. Learn more about the heart and atrial fibrillation in "What is atrial fibrillation?"

Atrial fibrillation causes about 15% of all strokes. This number goes up to about 30% in people over 60 years old. Although the risk for stroke varies with each person, people with AF have 3 to 5 times as great a risk of stroke caused by a blood clot compared to people without AF.

Use our Atrial Fibrillation: Stroke Risk Assessment tool to find out your risk of stroke.

Because AF can sometimes cause long-term damage to the heart, heart failure is a serious complication of AF. An uncontrolled and irregular heart rate for long periods of time (weeks or months) can damage the heart muscle. The damaged heart cannot pump blood effectively to the rest of the body, resulting in heart failure.

AF also increases your risk of being hospitalized. One-third of men and one-half of women with AF end up going to the hospital because of AF symptoms. Hospital trips can be disruptive to your life and may cause significant physical and emotional distress to you and your family.

Despite these complications, AF can be effectively managed so that your risk of these complications is reduced. Learn more about how atrial fibrillation is treated in "Treating atrial fibrillation."

Hot Topics - Bedwetting, Depression, Flu (Seasonal), Healthy Skin, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Stroke Risk Reduction

Condition and disease information is written and reviewed by the MedBroadcast Clinical Team.


The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.
© 1996 - 2014 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.