Atrial fibrillation is associated with heart attacks, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and sudden cardiac death. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat, which is well known to be linked to a higher risk of strokes. The researchers aimed to investigate the link between atrial fibrillation with non-stroke health events as well.
The researchers analyzed the results of 104 studies involving over nine million participants. The researchers found that atrial fibrillation was associated with a wide variety of outcomes, including all-cause mortality, ischemic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. Additional analysis also shows that the associations between atrial fibrillation and these health outcomes was consistent.
Treatment and prevention of atrial fibrillation
The goal of atrial fibrillation treatment is resetting the heart’s rhythm and preventing blood clots, which could contribute to a higher stroke risk. The treatment your doctor chooses depends on whether you have other heart problems and if you can take certain medications to regulate heart rhythm. For some patients, more invasive treatment may be required, such as surgery
Resetting the heart’s rhythm can be done through electrical cardioversion or cardioversion with drugs. In electrical cardioversion, an electric shock is administered to the heart with paddles or patches, temporarily stopping the heart. When the heart begins to beat again, the hope is that it returns to a normal rhythm.
Cardioversion with drugs is done with medications to help restore heart’s rhythm. The medication may be taken orally or intravenously, depending on your health condition.
Preventing blood clots is also accomplished with medications such as wafarin or other anticoagulants.
Some tips to help better prevent atrial fibrillation and reduce your risk of related complications include:
- Restoring the heart rhythm back to normal
- Reducing overall heart rate
- Preventing blood clots
- Managing stroke risk factors – blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, etc.
- Preventing additional heart rhythm problems
- Preventing heart failure
Healthy lifestyle habits can help you protect your overall heart health. This includes exercising regularly, eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, minimizing alcohol intake, and controlling chronic conditions such as diabetes.