Pardee Hospital

WIN 2016

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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3 1 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m W I N T E R 2 016 S P I R I T O F W O M E N WHAT IS AFIB? Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an abnormality of the rhythm of the heart. Although AFib itself is not dangerous, it is a serious medical condition that needs to be managed because it significantly raises your risk for a stroke or heart attack. The abnormal heart rhythm associated with AFib means blood does not pump through the heart as it should, causing it to pool in the atria where it can form a clot. If a clot breaks free and blocks a blood vessel to the brain, you may have a stroke. A clot in the heart can cause a heart attack. People with AFib are five times more likely to have a stroke and three times more likely to have a heart attack. If you have AFib, you are not alone. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that more than three million Americans have AFib. Your risk of AFib increases with age. AFIB SYMPTOMS The most common symptoms of AFib are a fluttering heart and fatigue. You may also feel dizzy, anxious, have shortness of breath, or even feel chest pain or pressure. Some people have no symptoms at all (called Silent AFib). Repeated incidents of AFib can lead to irreversible heart rhythm abnormalities. Although AFib sometimes goes away on its own, it generally requires treatment. If you have any questions about AFib, or experience symptoms that may indicate AFib, talk to your physician. Early treatment for AFib can prevent a debilitating stroke or heart attack. RISK FACTORS FOR STROKE n age n family history n being female n diabetes n congestive heart failure n a prior stroke n systolic blood pressure greater than 120 TREATMENT OVERVIEW There are many treatments for AFib, including medications, surgery and other nonsurgical procedures. The primary goal of treatment is to reduce your risk of stroke by preventing blood clots. Depending on your symptoms and the severity of AFib, your physician may also recommend treatments to restore your heart rate or heart rhythm. Spirit of Women affiliated hospitals offer local cardiac resources. To find your nearest Spirit of Women or HeartCaring affiliated hospital, go to pages 12-13. T O R E D U C E Y O U R R I S K MANAGING AFIB H E A R T H E A L T H THINKSTOCK

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