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.
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