Understand Your Risk

Understand Your Risk


Are you at risk for atrial fibrillation? (AFib or AF)


Any person, ranging from children to adults, can develop atrial fibrillation. Because the likelihood of AFib increases with age and people are living longer today, medical researchers predict the number of AFib cases will rise dramatically over the next few years. Even though AFib clearly increases the risks of heart-related death and stroke, many patients do not fully recognize the potentially serious consequences.


Who is at higher risk?


Typically people who have one or more of the following conditions are at higher risk for AFib:

  • Athletes: AFib is common in athletes and can be triggered by a rapid heart rate called a supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).
  • Advanced age: The number of adults developing AFib increases markedly with older age. Atrial fibrillation in children is rare, but it can and does happen.
  • Underlying heart disease: Anyone with heart disease, including valve problems, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, acute coronary syndrome, Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome and history of heart attack. Additionally, atrial fibrillation is the most common complication after heart surgery.
  • High blood pressure: Longstanding, uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase your risk for AFib.
  • Drinking alcohol: Binge drinking (having five drinks in two hours for men, or four drinks for women) may put you at higher risk for AFib.
  • Sleep apnea: Although sleep apnea isn’t proven to cause AFib, studies show a strong link between obstructive sleep apnea and AFib. Often, treating the apnea can improve AFib.
  • Family history: Having a family member with AFib increases your chances of being diagnosed.
  • Other chronic conditions: Others at risk are people with thyroid problems, diabetes, asthma and other chronic medical problems.

Recent Discussions From The Newly Diagnosed Forum
Nightsky avatar

Hello All, Great site! Just read a lot of info that I find very helpful. I have always had the "storm in my chest" feeling as long as I can rememner (I am 61) but never came out to be AFib until today....bittersweet I guess. My Cadio mentioned Elequis and come back in a Month, then he wants to do some sort of "shock" treatment at the Hospital, sounds like I am medicated and then like a defibralator, my heart is shocked "back into sync" and he says this has a pretty good sucess rate. 

I didn't see anything about it here....I mentioned abilation, he said he wanted to do this first. He also gave me a brochure on the "Watchman" from Boston Scientific, which is basically a strainer/fill plug that takes up the space where the blood pools and also has a good sucess rate? Anyone had either of these proceedures done? 

Thanks for your time, look forward to responses. By the way I am a CPAP user (very compliant) and a bit overweight, light coffee drinker (1 a day), non-smoker and no drugs or alcohol, diabetic type 2 with a pump, under control. 

 

Nesshan avatar

Last Wednesday I woke up and was sitting in bed. I felt my heart beating oddly and after that my chest felt uncomfortable, I told my sister how I was feeling and at that point my heart started beating really fast. I thought I was having a heart attack and was about to die. 

Sister took me to the ER where they checked my pulse and put me on an IV I hadn't been told what it was until I was moved to the Hospital, I wasn't allowed to walk and then I was told that I was in AFib. 

Later that night a nurse said I "converted" and all was well. 

The next day I had a ultrasound on my heart done and etc.

The doctors didn't mention anything bad going on and explained that I had AFib probably because of sleep apnea and being overweight. He told me I should work on losing weight and eating better to fix it.

I'm on Eliquis and Diltiazem, I wasn't told how long but was told I shouldn't run out of Eliquis. 

I'm still terrified of havhav that happen again and I have no one else to talk to about this. 

After having AFib and converting, and being on this medication. What are the possobiliposs of having to experience that again ? I'm trying to exercise more but I'm scared of something happening again.

njm5876 avatar

My husband was recently diagnosed with paroxysmal Afib ( March 2019)  He is scheduled for ablation July 15. Husband's normal resting HR is 50-60 --highest with Afib episode was 168.  His symptoms were some chest pressure, heart flip-flopping with fatigue.

  EP doc had him start taking Multaq for 2 weeks, no help at all.  He changed him to Sotalol 6 days ago. His HR is now down in the low 40's possibly lower as the monitor we have at home doesn't register lower than 40.  He has been exhausted since starting Sotalol- he takes 160 mg/day.  It has caused him some stomach related issues - I have noticed some shortness of breath - more fatigued than before.  He actually seems to be feeling worse on the meds than without. He is to go tomorrow to have an EKG -I am hoping he will let them know how he has been feeling the last week.  The husband has been down in the dumps and grumpy since taking Sotalol.  

EP says he also has tachy-brady syndrome..but says we need to tackle the AFib before the bradycardia.  

I think he needs to come off the Sotalol but since I am not a medical pro I may have it wrong.  I just want something to help him to feel better NOT make him worse.

Thanks for listening!! 

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