Atrial Fibrillation More Common Among Whites


Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common heart arrhythmias in the United States.  Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that causes the top chambers of the heart to quiver and fire at a very rapid rate – decreasing the effectiveness of the heart to pump.  About 2 million adults in the United States have atrial fibrillation which is a very strong risk factor for stroke.

A recent study presented at the Heart Rhythm Society’s annual meeting revealed that atrial fibrillation is more common in whites than blacks/African Americans.   Over 200,000 patients were evaluated.  High blood pressure and diabetes are important risk factors that can lead to the development of atrial fibrillation, both of which are more common in blacks.  This study proves that ethnicity plays an important role in the incidence of atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation symptoms can vary from person to person.  Some people have no symptoms.

The most common symptom in people with intermittent atrial fibrillation is palplitations, a sensation of rapid or irregular heartbeat.  Often described as an irregular fluttering sensation in the chest.

Some people become light-headed or faint.

Other symptoms include weakness, lack of energy or shortness of breath with effort, and chest pain.

For more information on atrial fibrillation visit:


3 Responses to Atrial Fibrillation More Common Among Whites

  1. Kay says:

    AF is a life changer for me. I have had two TIA’s, will be on coumadin for a lifetime. I was diagnosed at 42 after having a really bad bronchitis. After mutiple cardioversions I was AF free taking Flecanide and Metoporol. When it stopped working my AF symptoms were worse than before. A year ago December I was cardioverted and put on Amiodarone. That lasted until Feb. 2010. Now I am short of breath again , can walk little distance without stopping and resting. My housework slides because at the end of the day after working I just want to rest/sleep. The fear of another TIA is ever present ….I can have a panic attack if I think of it to much. Has anyone found anything that works long term…creates better quality of life?

  2. heartstrong says:

    You may want to discuss catheter ablation with your cardiologist, see if you are a candidate. This procedure is performed in the heart catheterization lab by a cardiac electrophysiologist.

  3. Angela says:

    I had catheter ablation, Jan 18, 2010, for my atrial fibrillation, I was 38. I had suffered from attachycardia since I was 15. It cured me. I have never had to take medication. It was a morning procedure and I was home that night. No stitches, I just had to take aspirin for 3 months afterwards. I have had no events of atrial fibrillation since, I still experience extra beats, which are benign and nothing compared to the 199 beats/minute I used to experience. I am truly grateful for the procedure.

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