Blood Clots

Atrial Fibrillation: Early Detection and Risk Reduction

In this guest post by Drs. Nidhi Madan and Annabelle Volgman discuss why early detection of AFib can lead to a significant reduction of risk.

Nidhi Madan, MD, MPH; Annabelle S. Volgman, MD, FACC, FAHA 

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, with its prevalence projected to increase from 5.2 million in 2010 to 12.1 million cases in 2030 in the United States.1 AFib confers a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, cognitive decline and mortality.2,3 Early identification of AFib is imperative to reduce morbidity and mortality. Several factors cause structural and electrical remodeling of the atria resulting in AFIB. Established non-modifiable risk factors for AFib include advanced age and male sex. Female sex is a risk factor for strokes for patients with AFib. Other modifiable risk factors include smoking, alcohol use, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, myocardial infarction, valve disease and heart failure.

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