Cardiology

Burnout linked with irregular heartbeat

Feeling excessively tired, devoid of energy, demoralised, and irritable? You may have burnout, a syndrome associated with a potentially deadly heart rhythm disturbance. That's the conclusion of a large study published today ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Heart disease linked to a higher risk of kidney failure

New research indicates that cardiovascular diseases—including heart failure, atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease, and stroke—are each linked with a higher risk of developing kidney failure. The findings, which ...

Cardiology

One way to help ease A-fib: give up drinking

(HealthDay)—If you have atrial fibrillation (a-fib)—a potentially dangerous irregular heart rhythm—giving up alcohol could ease your symptoms.

Cardiology

Personalized medicine for atrial fibrillation

Patients with atrial fibrillation, the most frequent cardiac arrhythmia, are closer to accessing personalized medicine. This is the claim of a new study led by Dr. David Filgueiras, of the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones ...

Cardiology

Can obesity limit antiarrhythmic drug effectiveness?

Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, and it is associated with increased mortality. While researchers have identified a causal link between obesity and AFib, the underlying ...

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Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF or afib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) and involves the two upper chambers (atria) of the heart. Its name comes from the fibrillating (i.e. quivering) of the heart muscles of the atria, instead of a coordinated contraction. It can often be identified by taking a pulse and observing that the heartbeats don't occur at regular intervals. However, a conclusive indication of AF is the absence of P waves on an electrocardiogram (ECG), which are normally present when there is a coordinated atrial contraction at the beginning of each heart beat. Risk increases with age, with 8% of people over 80 having AF.

In AF, the normal electrical impulses that are generated by the sinoatrial node are overwhelmed by disorganized electrical impulses that originate in the atria and pulmonary veins, leading to conduction of irregular impulses to the ventricles that generate the heartbeat. The result is an irregular heartbeat which may occur in episodes lasting from minutes to weeks, or it could occur all the time for years. The natural tendency of AF is to become a chronic condition. Chronic AF leads to a small increase in the risk of death.

Atrial fibrillation is often asymptomatic, and is not in itself generally life-threatening, but may result in palpitations, fainting, chest pain, or congestive heart failure. People with AF usually have a significantly increased risk of stroke (up to 7 times that of the general population). Stroke risk increases during AF because blood may pool and form clots in the poorly contracting atria and especially in the left atrial appendage (LAA). The level of increased risk of stroke depends on the number of additional risk factors. If a person with AF has none, the risk of stroke is similar to that of the general population. However, many people with AF do have additional risk factors and AF is a leading cause of stroke.

Atrial fibrillation may be treated with medications which either slow the heart rate or revert the heart rhythm back to normal. Synchronized electrical cardioversion may also be used to convert AF to a normal heart rhythm. Surgical and catheter-based therapies may also be used to prevent recurrence of AF in certain individuals. People with AF are often given anticoagulants such as warfarin to protect them from stroke.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA