Forum for discussion and support on Atrial Fibrillation.
When the atrium (the upper, low pressure chamber of the heart) does not squeeze or contract at one uniform, coordinated time but contracts irregularly with one portion contracting well before or after another, the result is what is called atrial fibrillation. When this happens the atrium cannot push blood into the ventricles in the normal manner.
A normal heart contracts and relaxes to a regular beat. In atrial fibrillation the heart contracts at a very irregular and sometimes very rapid rate.
Atrial fibrillation is a disorder found in about 2 million Americans.
Stroke is the leading cause in the United States of serious long-term disability and the third leading cause of death. One of the major risk factors for stroke is atrial fibrillation (AF), a common cardiac disorder characterized by cardiac arrhythmia and the absence of coordinated contractions, which increases the risk for blood stasis, clot formation, and embolic stroke. AF affects approximately 2.2 million adults in the United States (1,2) and is the most common sustained heart rhythm disturbance observed in clinical practice (3). The rate of AF increases with age, from <1% among persons aged <60 years to approximately 10% among persons aged >80 years (4). The frequency with which AF is reported on death certificates as a contributing cause of death has increased since 1980 (5).
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