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What is Atrial Fibrillation? | Atrial FibrillationTreatments | MedicalCV Solution | Clinical References
 
WHAT IS ATRIAL FIBRILLATION?  


Atrial fibrillation (“AF”) is a common type of cardiac arrhythmia that affects about 2.5 million Americans. A cardiac arrhythmia is erratic electrical energy that interferes with normal rhythm. With AF, the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) quiver instead of beating effectively. As a result, blood is not pumped completely out of the chambers, so it may pool and clot. If a piece of a blood clot in the atria leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke results.  A patient diagnosed with AF is five to six times more likely to suffer a stroke than a patient without AF.  In addition, AF reduces cardiac output by up to 30 percent and is a major precursor to congestive heart failure. The likelihood of developing AF increases with age. It is believed that 3 to 5 percent of people over age 65 suffer from the disease.