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
MJODRH avatar

Hello!  I am 49 years old and a few months ago I was diagnosed with AFib.  About a year and a half ago wore a Zio patch and the results came back as SVT.  My medication was chaged to Hydralazine for HBP and Metropolol.  At first I seemed to respond well but then the palpitations/irregular heartbeat would return.  My meds would be increased and wash, rinse, repeat on the effects.  As my palpitation seemed to get worse, more often and longer, the doctor did another Zio patch.  When the results came back it showed I had Afib and I received like 4 or 5 calls from doctors to work out getting me on an appropriate thinner and to an EP.  My medication was increased again with minimal if any improvement.  This journey I've been on has been very frustrating and scary as it seems no matter the treatment what they episodes just get worse.   What stated as just some random palpiation has turned into episodes every few days that will last for ~12 hours and almost always start in the evening or during the night.  These episodes make me feel tired, anxious, and just overal lethargic.  Also, it increases my urine output and can keep we awake with ongoing trips to the bathroom.  The increased uriniation truly bothers me as as it is dehydrating and I worry about additional stress on my kidney as I am a transplant patient (post transplant 31 years, YAY!).  The kidney transplant also makes antiarthymics not a good choice. 

I don't know where this new Afib journey is going to take me, but I can tell you that the emotional toll is feeling heavy right now.  I hope that by reading about people's experiences will help me to process better and enlighten me with ways to identify triggers and communicate with my cardiologist/EP.

Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing your experiences.

MJ

NOLADan avatar

Hello. I'm 47 years old and was diagnosed with A-Fib just before Thanksgiving. 

I had an ablation Jan 29, and I enjoyed sinus rhythm for 3 days!  A few days later, back to the ER.

Last week I had my first cardioversion and got to enjoy a nice, slow sinus rhythm for 2 days. Today marks my 6th day in Afib without a break. 

I was taking Toporol 50mg 2x a day, Flecainide 150mg 2x a day, and Eliquis 5mg 2x a day.  Now the doctor has stopped my Flecainide and Sunday I start taking 400mg Amiodarone 2x a day.

I've been reading up on Amiodarone, and I have to say I'm scared to start taking it.

Been lurking and reading posts, and just felt the need to vent a little! Thanks

 

chmayer avatar

Had bypass surgery in 2004. Relatively good condition up until now. I was walking frequently and heart rate elevated some (90-110). I would rest for a few minutes and all was fine again. Two weeks before a scheduled Stress Test. I had same elevation to about 105 with normal sinus rythm. During the stress test A-FIB. They said my heart was very strong. Was perscribed Eliquis with directions. I am 77,  BMI is 23, and take numerous suplements. Now I know what Afib feels like. I never had it before the test! Now anytime I do any physical labor or exercise I get afib and it takes about 20 minutes to an hour to recover to normal sinus rythm. My cardoligist was upset that I had been given the stress test.

My question is did (can) a stress test initiate/start afib???  What now? Looks like western medicine is doing its best to hurt me.

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