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About Heart Disease

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (or AFib) is a common irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) that occurs when the upper chamber of the heart quivers instead of beats effectively. Blood doesn’t leave the small upper chambers of the heart completely and a blood clot may form. If a blood clot leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain a stroke occurs. Approximately 15% of strokes are caused by atrial fibrillation.

FACTS ABOUT ATRIAL FIBRILLATION
  • AFib is the most common abnormal heart rhythm
  • An estimated 2.2 million people in the U.S. have AFib, with 180,000 new cases diagnosed each year
  • Approximately 5% of people over the age of 65 have AFib
WARNING SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Often people with atrial fibrillation have no symptoms and are unaware of their condition and increased risk for stroke. Those that do have symptoms may experience:

  • palpitations
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • weakness
RISK FACTORS FOR ATRIAL FIBRILLATION
  • age
  • history of heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • sleep apnea
  • thyroid disorders
  • alcohol abuse
  • family history
DIAGNOSIS

Atrial fibrillation is diagnosed by recording the heart rhythm or heart beat by performing a rhythm strip analysis.  SafeHeart Health Screens offers an atrial fibrillation screen to test for this condition.