Atrial fibrillation , also known as AF, is a type of heart arrhythmia that affects millions of Americans. It drastically increases your risk of stroke and should be closely managed by a heart doctor. Although you can’t completely prevent AF, understanding your risk can help you take steps to reduce the odds that you will get it. If you have any of these conditions, talk to your doctor about your atrial fibrillation risk.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure occurs when blood rushes through your arteries at higher pressures than is healthy. This causes the blood to push against the artery walls, which can cause them to weaken and could lead to blood clots that cause heart damage, heart attack, and strokes. The heart damage caused by high blood pressure can lead to AF–in fact, untreated high blood pressure is the most common cause of this type of heart arrhythmia. Managing your blood pressure can reduce your AF risk and help control it if you have already been diagnosed.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease , or coronary artery disease, as it is sometimes called, occurs when plaque build-up in your arteries caused by high cholesterol makes your arteries become narrow. This reduces the flow of nutrient-rich blood to your heart, which in turn can lead to damage to your heart muscle as it is starved of the nutrients it needs. The damage caused by coronary heart disease can change the way your heart pumps and lead to arrhythmias, including AF. Reducing your cholesterol can prevent and manage coronary heart disease and the associated effects, including AF.
Heart failure does not mean that the heart stops beating. It means that it works less efficiently than it did when it was healthy. Heart failure is caused by damage to the heart muscle, and one of the outcomes of the changes associated with it can be AF.
When you or a loved one is diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in Phoenix, Cardiac Solutions can help. Get on the road to better heart health today and make an appointment for cardiac care by calling (623) 876-8816.