-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- People who experience
what feels like drums pounding in their chest, shortness of breath,
chest pain and dizziness may suffer from the common but potentially
dangerous heart arrhythmia known as atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is an overly rapid, abnormal heartbeat that
is more common with advancing age. The condition can cause blood to
pool in the heart's upper chambers (atria) and increase the risk
that the heart will "throw" a clot, potentially leading to
According to the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), more than 2 million
Americans are already living with the condition, which increases
the risk of stroke five-fold. And as the population ages,
researchers project that number to surge over the next 40
Atrial fibrillation (AF) can also adversely affect people's
quality of life, resulting in chronic fatigue and debilitating
"AF is the most common heart arrhythmia and, unfortunately, many people know very little about AF and just how serious it can be to someone's long-term health," HRS president Dr. Bruce Wilkoff said in a news release issued by the group. "The Heart Rhythm Society has developed some tools to help and encourage all Americans to learn more about AF by becoming aware of warning signs, risks and treatment options that could potentially save lives."
Warning signs of atrial fibrillation may include:
Treatments for the condition can help control these symptoms and
restore normal heart rhythm, preventing blood clots and stroke, the
Some people may be more prone to atrial fibrillation than
others. According to the HRS, the most common risk factors
The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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