More Concerns Linked to A-Fib

Previous studies have shown that atrial fibrillation—an irregular heartbeat or heart rhythm disorder, also called a-fib that causes the upper chambers of the heart (atria) to quiver or beat irregularly—increases stroke risk. According to new research, the condition also may increase the risk for heart failure, as well as heart attack and kidney disease.

The American Heart Association reports that atrial fibrillation affects about 2.7 million people in the U.S. In a recent review of 104 atrial fibrillation studies involving about 9 million participants, researchers found that people with a-fib are 5 times more likely to experience heart failure than people without the condition. Stroke risk is 2-3 times higher in people with arrhythmia.

According to researchers, atrial fibrillation may be a marker for underlying heart disease risk factors. Up to 90 percent of people with a-fib also have high blood pressure. Study results emphasize the importance of following recommended guidelines for treatment and screening for conditions associated with heart rhythm disorders.

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Sourced from: Reuters, Irregular heartbeat may be tied to more than just stroke risk