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.

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Recent Discussions From The Newly Diagnosed Forum
JohnnyTiger avatar

Hi everyone.  I was diagnosed with Paroxysmal Afib just over a month ago.  Episodes are now occuring about once a week and can last from a couple of hours to over 24 hours.  I'm physically fit and have been doing weight training and intense cardio most of my adult life.  Resting heart rate usually hovers around 57-58.   I eat well, am not a big drinker (weekends only), and have never smoked.  The episodes I've had are awful, my heartrate will bounce from 60 to 130 to 170 at the drop of a hat, and it's affected my performance at work and my quality of life.  My cardiologist has me on 10mg bisoprolol daily and 5mg Eliquis twice a day, I understand the importance of taking a blood thinner but the bisoprolol only seems to lower my HR at rest and does absolutely nothing during an AFib attack.  Supplements include Taurine, Ubiquinol, regular COQ10, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Vitamin K2.  

A couple of interesting points I've noted:

a.)  Attacks often come on when I'm lying down, relaxing on the couch.  

b.)  They are never triggered by food intake, alcohol, and are only seldom triggered by exercise

c.)  I have stopped a total of 3 attacks by jumping on my Assault Bike (basically an exercise bike with your upper body contributing) and doing 15 minutes of hard cardio at about 80% max effort.  I did this today as a matter of fact

d.)  Mild exercise (walking, yardwork, etc) does nothing to stop an attack

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself and i look forward to learning more and forming a plan of action against this miserable condition

 

 

emeraldmezzo avatar

I'm a 67 year old female diagnosed a day ago. I'm on Eliquis and Cardizem (sp?). Will I ever live normally again? I get out of breath going to the mailbox or up one small flight of stairs? Will I ever walk a mile again? Or swim? Or vacuum my living room without shortness of breath? I feelike I'm 90.  I hate this and I'm frightened. I'm having a TEE test on Thursday. Any advice/support would be very much appreciated. 

winnifred55 avatar

Laying in bed on the morning of 11/30 I started getting a fast irregular heartbeat and was lightheaded, nauseated, and had chest tightness. After about an hour I called the doctor, who said to go to the ER. By the time I was able to get childcare and get to the hospital, it had resolved. They recommended following up with a cardiologist if I had further symptoms. 

Since then I've had frequent palpitations during the day and episodes that my fitbit has classified as afib every day or every other day lasting 5-10 minutes. Brought the PDFs of these to my first cardiology appointment and he diagnosed paroxysmal afib based on them and did an echo which came back normal. He put me on metropolol and said that after a few weeks of being on this, afib should go away and stay gone since I have no structural abnormalities. 

I've been on it for a week now, and still having a lot of palpitations. Slightly fewer afib episodes - only 3 in the last week, but they are lasting longer - closer to an hour. 

Has anyone ever had short term metropolol "cure" their afib?

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