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Atrial Fibrillation: What Increases Your Risk?

Health Articles |
Categories: AFib Heart
Atrial Fibrillation: What Increases Your Risk?

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular, rapid heartbeat that can cause blood clots that lead to poor blood flow. AFib can increase your risk for stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related diseases. Some people with atrial fibrillation are unaware of their condition and have no symptoms, while other people may experience palpitations, fatigue, lightheadedness, chest pain or shortness of breath.

Damage to the heart's structure or abnormalities are the most common cause of atrial fibrillation. Other factors that increase one’s risk of developing AFib include:

Age

The older someone is, the greater their risk of developing AFib. Although it can affect people of any age, the majority for those diagnosed with AFib are over the age of 60 years.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing stops or becomes dangerously shallow during sleep. While sleep apnea has not been proven to cause AFib, treating sleep apnea can improve AFib.

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Drinking alcohol

Alcohol is a trigger for AFib. Binge drinking (having five drinks in two hours for men, or four drinks for women) can increased risk.

High Blood Pressure

Having high blood pressure that is not well controlled can heighten your risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

Obesity

Obesity can increase the pressure inside the main pumping chamber of the heart, preventing it from filling up as much as it needs to between beats, which can lead to an erratic heartbeat.

Family History

A family history of atrial fibrillation may increase your chances of being diagnosed with the condition too.

Stress and Worry

Some studies suggest that stress and mental health issues may cause atrial fibrillation symptoms to worsen. Managing stress is important for overall good health.

Chronic Conditions

Other chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, lung disease and asthma may increase one’s risk of developing AFib.

Learn More

For more information about atrial fibrillation, or to schedule an appointment with a cardiac specialist at Doylestown Health, call 215.345.3425.

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About Doylestown Health's Heart & Vascular Services

Expert cardiologists and cardiac surgeons assist patients and physicians with managing risk factors for heart disease, offer advanced treatment options and provide outstanding emergency cardiac care. Doylestown Hospital’s accredited Chest Pain Center is fully prepared to treat cardiac emergencies around the clock, focusing on rapid diagnosis and effective treatment. The multidisciplinary team at the Woodall Center for Heart and Vascular Care is dedicated to providing the highest level of quality care and patient safety.

About Doylestown Health's Heart & Vascular Services

Expert cardiologists and cardiac surgeons assist patients and physicians with managing risk factors for heart disease, offer advanced treatment options and provide outstanding emergency cardiac care. Doylestown Hospital’s accredited Chest Pain Center is fully prepared to treat cardiac emergencies around the clock, focusing on rapid diagnosis and effective treatment. The multidisciplinary team at the Woodall Center for Heart and Vascular Care is dedicated to providing the highest level of quality care and patient safety.

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