What are the dangers of atrial fibrillation?
Although some people may live for years with atrial fibrillation without
experiencing any symptoms or serious health problems, many individuals
develop serious complications and potentially life-threatening conditions,
Stroke – Individuals with atrial fibrillation are 5 to 7 times more likely
to have a stroke than the general population. That’s because atrial
fibrillation causes the upper chambers of the heart to beat rapidly and
irregularly, which inhibits quick and efficient blood flow. This can lead
to potentially dangerous blood clots, which can travel to the brain, resulting
in a stroke. Clots can also travel to other parts of the body causing
damage to other areas, such as the heart, kidneys and intestines.
Heart Failure – Atrial fibrillation can decrease the heart’s pumping ability
by as much as 20 to 25 percent. If this occurs over a long period of time,
it can significantly weaken the heart and lead to heart failure.
Death – Chronic atrial fibrillation is not only associated with an increased
risk of stroke and heart failure, but is also associated with an increased
risk of death.
Because untreated chronic atrial fibrillation doubles the risk of heart-related
deaths and causes up to a 5-fold increased risk for stroke, it’s
vital that at-risk individuals seek proper diagnosis and treatment from
a healthcare provider experienced in