How does AFib increase my risk of having a stroke?

How does AFib increase my risk of having a stroke?

AFib can allow blood clots to form in the heart. When a clot breaks off and travels to the brain, it can block arteries and cause a stroke.

AFib can allow blood clots to form in the heart. When a clot breaks off and travels to the brain, it can block arteries and cause a stroke.

I don't feel my AFib — Am I at risk for a stroke?

I don't feel my AFib — Am I at risk for a stroke?

Whether or not you can feel the symptoms of your AFib, you are at still at risk for a stroke. Discuss stroke prevention with your doctor.

Whether or not you can feel the symptoms of your AFib, you are at still at risk for a stroke. Discuss stroke prevention with your doctor.

I have high blood pressure. Will that increase my risk of stroke?

I have high blood pressure. Will that increase my risk of stroke?

High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, however it can be treated or controlled. Talk to your doctor about your options.

High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, however it can be treated or controlled. Talk to your doctor about your options.

How do anti-coagulants prevent stroke?

How do anti-coagulants prevent stroke?

Anticoagulants decrease the blood’s ability to clot. A blood clot can cause a stroke if it reaches the brain.

Anticoagulants decrease the blood’s ability to clot. A blood clot can cause a stroke if it reaches the brain.

My husband has AFib. What's his risk of stroke?

My husband has AFib. What's his risk of stroke?

AFib increases the risk of stroke approximately 5 times.  Medication can help reduce this risk.

AFib increases the risk of stroke approximately 5 times. Medication can help reduce this risk.

How do I talk to mom's cardiologist about her stroke risk?

How do I talk to mom's cardiologist about her stroke risk?

Tell the doctor about your role as a caregiver. Prepare in advance with a list of informed questions.

Tell the doctor about your role as a caregiver. Prepare in advance with a list of informed questions.

Learn more in your free book.

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Atrial Fibrillation Related Stroke Education

Learn about the link between AFib and stroke, and how to live a healthier life.

Atrial fibrillation affects more than 2 million Americans, increasing their risk of stroke five times more than the general population. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with AFib, it’s important you understand how and why it causes an increased risk of stroke.

Don’t go it alone. Request a free copy of "Living Well with Atrial Fibrillation and Reducing Your Risk of Stroke" for help learning about AFib-related stroke prevention, making healthy choices, and working with your healthcare team.

Get your free book at AFib-OneToOne.com

 

AFib and Stroke: What everyone should know.

The better you understand the condition, the better prepared you’ll be to manage the risk.

What is AFib?

Essentially, atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heartbeat. The heart’s upper chambers – the atria – beat too fast or in an irregular pattern – they fibrillate. When this happens, the heart’s upper and lower chambers get out of sync. This can cause blood to pool in the upper chambers, instead of pumping completely into the lower chambers.

You could think of AFib as a problem with the electrical signals in the heart. But what causes this electrical problem? There’s no single answer. It could be damage from coronary artery disease, or high blood pressure. Often the causes are unknown.

Symptoms

Some people with AFib will never experience symptoms. For others, they can be intense or frightening. Symptoms can include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, and more.

AFib symptoms can be unpredictable, returning every day or only a few times a year. Over time, it’s possible they can become more frequent and last much longer.

Whether or not someone feels AFib symptoms doesn’t change the facts about their stroke risk: If preventative measures aren’t taken, people with AFib are about 5 times more likely to suffer a stroke than people without it.

AFib and Stroke

For most people, the biggest concern about AFib is this increased risk of stroke. When AFib allows small amounts of blood to pool in the atria, cells can stick together and form a clot. A part of this clot can break off and be pumped into the bloodstream, where it travels toward the brain. A clot in the brain can block arteries, deprive brain cells of oxygen and cause a stroke.

This is why stroke prevention measures are so important for AFib patients. It’s possible to effectively reduce this risk.

Stroke Prevention

Prescription medicines can help reduce the risk of stroke with AFib. Anticoagulants, known as blood thinners, help prevent clots from forming and are an effective way to reduce the risk. If your doctor prescribes a medication, it’s important to stay on it and focus on living a healthy life.

"Living Well with Atrial Fibrillation and Reducing Your Risk of Stroke" is an in-depth guide for patients and caregivers. Learn more about preventing AFib-related stroke, making healthy choices, and working with your healthcare team. Request your free copy today.

Reduce your risk

People with AFib are about five times more likely to suffer a stroke than people without it.

Medication to help prevent blood clots is a proven way to reduce this risk.

Words to know

Atria: (ey–tree–uh)
the heart's upper chambers

Ventricles: (ven-tri-kuhls)
the heart's lower chambers

Fibrillate: (fib-ruh-leyt)
rapid beating of muscles in the heart

Arrhythmia: (uh-rith-mee-uh) an irregular heartbeat. AFib is the most common form of arrhythmia