Afib Ablation May Be An Option
If you can get rid of your AFib, your hypertension may be easier to treat. In turn, your doctor may suggest an invasive procedure, such as a catheter ablation to eliminate the AFib.
Likewise, reducing your blood pressure can help you better control your AFib, and that generally comes down to good self care and the right course of medication. In any case, your doctor is an important ally: talk openly about your concerns, your options, and your treatments on a regular basis.
Can You Prevent Complications
A few healthy habits can help you avoid the other health problems that AFib can cause.
- Eat a heart- and brain-healthy diet. Limit salt, and saturated and trans fats. Make fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein the majority of your diet.
- Exercise on most days of the week. Ask your doctor to recommend a fitness plan that’s safe for your heart.
- Manage blood pressure and cholesterol with diet, exercise, and medicine if you need it.
- If you smoke, ask your doctor for advice on how to quit.
What Is Atrial Fibrillation And What Can Happen To Me If I Have It
During a regular heartbeat, the top two chambers of the heart send out an electrical signal that triggers the heart to pump blood through the body. Atrial fibrillation happens when the electrical signal becomes irregular and causes disorganized and rapid contractions of the atria. These abnormal atrial contractions may cause ineffective pumping of blood through the body.
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Atrial Fibrillation And High Blood Pressure Readings Can Affect The Blood Pressure
One of my patients had a hypertensive emergency. At my facility, a; medical hypertensive emergency is a blood pressure that is over 200 systolic,; and it is resistant to first-line medications.;
The majority of the time when patients come in with a hypertensive emergency, they have been non-compliant with their medications for their diets.
When I first went into this patients room his blood pressure was 200/120. Obviously, this blood pressure is unacceptable, however, we could not bring it down too fast because the brain has been used to that blood pressure for a while.
A sudden decrease in blood pressure can cause less perfusion to the brain.
;Alivecor EKG Monitor Captures Heart Rate, Rhythm, and Symptoms for Early Atrial Fibrillation
Evidently, she was the caretaker. I explained to her the importance of the patient being compliant and taking his blood pressure.;
The daughter explained to me that she has been under a lot of stress, her daughter was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 14, and she has been sick herself.
Secondary Prevention With Raas Inhibition
Currently, there are very limited data to support the use of ACEIs or ARBs for secondary prevention of AF in patients with hypertension. There is no randomized controlled study on the use of ACEI or ARB for secondary prevention of AF primarily in patients with hypertension . In patients with persistent AF, the use of enalapril or irbesartan in addition to amiodarone reduced the risk of AF recurrence over amiodarone alone after electrical and/or pharmacological cardioversion. On the other hand, the use of ACEIs or candesartan alone without antiarrhythmic agents failed to reduce the risk of AF recurrence after cardioversion. However, in these studies, <50% of patients had hypertension. The Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nellInsufficienza cardiaca Atrial Fibrillation was the largest secondary prevention study involving 1442 patients with either paroxysmal or recently cardioverted persistent AF. In this study, up to 85% of patients had hypertension, and there was no significant reduction in AF recurrence between patients randomized to valsartan versus placebo group.
Table 2 Hypertension trials reporting AF recurrence
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How Is Afib Related To Stroke
AFib increases a persons risk for stroke. When standard stroke risk factors were accounted for, AFib was associated with a four- to fivefold increased risk of ischemic stroke.6 AFib causes about 1 in 7 strokes.7
Strokes caused by complications from AFib tend to be more severe than strokes with other underlying causes. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a blood clot or by fatty deposits called plaque in the blood vessel lining.
Will Atrial Fibrillation Ever Go Away
Yes. One form of atrial fibrillation that is treatable is so-called paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. This form of atrial fibrillation is more common in younger people and in people without serious underlying structural heart disease. In fact, this form of atrial fibrillation often occurs without any other underlying heart disease present. This paroxysmal form occurs when episodes of atrial fibrillation come for a short period of time and go away suddenly, to return later. This form is often associated with frequent extra beats in the atrium.
In the electrophysiology laboratory, much the same kind of a place as a cardiac catheterization laboratory, catheters with electrodes on the tips can be placed into the heart to “map” the initiation of atrial fibrillation. The technology in this regard is advancing rapidly. Much of this form of atrial fibrillation originates from the pulmonary veins so the procedure is quite involved. It requires “transeptal puncture” to get the catheters to the left side of the heart. When the source is identified, an application of radiofrequency energy, or more recently, ultrasonic energy, is delivered to eliminate the spot creating the problem. For this form of atrial fibrillation, the success rate has been reported to be as high as 80 percent.
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Home Or Clinic Based Automated Blood Pressure Measurement
Due to the absence of evidence for accuracy for most automated monitors designed for home or clinic use, and the increased individual variation in blood pressure with atrial fibrillation, we recommend comparison with multiple auscultatory clinic blood pressure readings for all individuals, when automated devices are used. This may be achieved by taking a sequence of at least three device readings alternating with three auscultatory readings made on the same arm, using a professional analogue device .
Limited data do exist to suggest that two monitors, designed for professional use, are accurate in measuring systolic, but not diastolic blood pressure: Philips SureSigns VSi and Welch Allyn Vital Signs 300 devices .
For home use, data from one other study suggest that the Tensoval duo control device is accurate in measuring systolic and diastolic blood pressure .
The Microlife Watch BPA 100 Plus device may be accurate for systolic but not diastolic blood pressure .
New Research Shows Atrial Fibrillation Can Be Fatal Even After Strict Control Of Blood Pressure
A study conducted by UAB investigators has outlined the importance of strict blood pressure control in the development of atrial fibrillation, which can lead to poor outcomes such as stroke, heart attacks and death.A new study published by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers in the international journal Hypertension shows strict blood pressure control could reduce the risk of developing atrial fibrillation by 22 percent. However, even after strict blood pressure control, this heart rhythm abnormality can be deadly.;
Vibhu Parcha, M.D., a physician-scientist in UABs;Division of Cardiovascular Disease, explained that uncontrolled high blood pressure leads to the development of atrial fibrillation, making the control of blood pressure in these individuals very important. Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm abnormality frequently seen in patients with high blood pressure and can lead to stroke, heart failure and even death.
Parcha and the team of UAB cardiologists and hypertension researchers analyzed data from the NHLBI-sponsored SPRINT trial, in which UAB was a study site.
We used the data from the largest hypertension trial to answer a question we commonly face as clinicians, Parcha said. Can we reduce the risk of development of this potentially fatal heart rhythm abnormality by a stringent control of blood pressure, and what can we do to reduce the risk of bad outcomes in patients who have this condition? ;
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What Are The Dangers Of Atrial Fibrillation
Some people live for years with atrial fibrillation without problems. However, atrial fibrillation can lead to future problems:
- Because the atria are beating rapidly and irregularly, blood does not flow through them as quickly. This makes the blood more likely to clot. If a clot is pumped out of the heart, it can travel to the brain, resulting in a stroke, or to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. People with atrial fibrillation are 5 to 7 times more likely to have a stroke than the general population. Clots can also travel to other parts of the body , and cause other damage.
- Atrial fibrillation can decrease the hearts pumping ability. The irregularity can make the heart work less efficiently. In addition, atrial fibrillation that occurs over a long period of time can significantly weaken the heart and lead to heart failure.
- Atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart failure and even death.
Medications To Reduce The Risk Of Stroke
The use of anticoagulation medications is the most important aspect of the treatment of AF. These medications significantly reduce the risk of stroke in people with AF and are the only therapies that have been shown to prevent serious medical events and to prolong life.The term blood thinners is often used for medications including aspirin and clopidogrel but these medications are completely ineffective in reducing the risk of stroke in AF and should not be prescribed for this reason alone.The effective anticoagulant treatments for AF are warfarin and the newer warfarin-like medications called NOACS . These include dabigatran, apixaban and rivaroxaban. There is little difference between these medications in terms of effectiveness and the small differences in each can be discussed with your doctor.The use of all anticoagulants comes with a risk of bleeding . Consequently, these medications can cause strokes as well as prevent them, although the benefits most often outweigh the risks.Careful attention should be given to the decision as to whether the benefits of anticoagulation outweigh the risks. Factors can be used to estimate the risk of stroke including previous stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, age, gender, diabetes and vascular disease.
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Intensive Blood Pressure Control Has Potential To Reduce Risk Of Atrial Fibrillation
- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
- Intensive blood pressure control may reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation , an irregular heartbeat that can lead to serious complications such as stroke, heart failure and heart attacks, according to scientists.
Intensive blood pressure control may reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation , an irregular heartbeat that can lead to serious complications such as stroke, heart failure and heart attacks, according to scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
In a study published in the May 4 edition of the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, the researchers found that lowering a systolic blood pressure to less than 120 resulted in a 26% lower risk of AFib compared to systolic blood pressure of less than 140.
“This is the first evidence from a randomized controlled trial that showed benefit in reducing the risk of atrial fibrillation as a result of aggressive blood pressure control to a target of less than 120 mm Hg,” said the study’s lead author, Elsayed Z. Soliman, M.D., professor of epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Health.
This analysis, using data from the National Institutes of Health Systolic Blood Pressure trial, included 8,022 study participants who were randomized into one of two groups: 4,003 participants in an intensive blood pressure control group and 4,019 participants in a standard lowering group .
Ecg: Reading The Waves
An electrocardiogram represents the electrical current moving through the heart during a heartbeat. The current’s movement is divided into parts, and each part is given an alphabetic designation in the ECG.
Each heartbeat begins with an impulse from the heart’s pacemaker . This impulse activates the upper chambers of the heart . The P wave represents activation of the atria.
Next, the electrical current flows down to the lower chambers of the heart . The QRS complex represents activation of the ventricles.
The ventricles must then undergo an electrical change to get ready for the next heart beat. This electrical activity is called the recovery wave, which is represented by the T wave.
Many kinds of abnormalities can often be seen on an ECG. They include a previous heart attack , an abnormal heart rhythm , an inadequate supply of blood and oxygen to the heart , and excessive thickening of the heart’s muscular walls.
Certain abnormalities seen on an ECG can also suggest bulges that develop in weaker areas of the heart’s walls. Aneurysms may result from a heart attack. If the rhythm is abnormal , the ECG may also indicate where in the heart the abnormal rhythm starts. Such information helps doctors begin to determine the cause.
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Can The First Symptom Of Atrial Fibrillation Be A Stroke
Yes. For some people, atrial fibrillation represents no more than a new, annoying palpitation. For other people, it can be the cause for a stroke but the process might have been unrecognized until that point. The older you are, and the more risk factors you have for stroke, as I mentioned earlier, the greater the chance that without being on a blood thinner, that atrial fibrillation will cause a stroke. With several risk factors present, an older person can have a risk factor for stroke as high as 17 percent each year.
One issue about atrial fibrillation is that there are those that have it and do not even recognize that it is present. Stroke can be caused by atrial fibrillation even in younger individuals and it is one of the potential causes for stroke in which no obvious cause can be diagnosed.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Measurement
Given the absence of evidence for accuracy of most ambulatory monitors, and the increased individual variation in blood pressure with atrial fibrillation, we recommend comparison of such devices with multiple auscultatory clinic blood pressure readings for all individuals. This may be achieved by taking a sequence of at least three device readings alternating with three auscultatory readings made on the same arm, using a professional analogue device .
Limited data obtained by static comparison of oscillometric ambulatory blood pressure monitors with mercury readings suggest accuracy for systolic but not diastolic blood pressures measured by the SpaceLabs 90207 and the A&D TM-2430 devices .
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If You Are Diagnosed And Treated For Atrial Fibrillation And Experience Fast Heart Rhythm Can You Take Additional Meds
Yes, you can take additional medication but is very important to realize that the medicines that are available for atrial fibrillation can interact with each other in a bad way. One reason to take additional medicines would be to try to stop the rhythm. Fleconaide and Propafenone, two antiarrhythmic medications are sometimes prescribed to be taken only when the rhythm occurs. This would be safe as long as these medications are indicated for that specific individual and you should never mix two antiarrhythmic medications. Sometimes medications which are given, are given specifically to keep the heart rate under control. If the heart rate gets faster, it would be appropriate to take a little extra of these medications. It is unlikely that taking a blood thinner, specifically at the time of the onset of atrial fibrillation, would be of any use.
High Blood Pressure Causes Atrial Fibrillation
Sophia Antipolis, 09 February 2021: ;The first evidence from genetic data that high blood pressure is causally associated with the most common heart rhythm disorder is published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology .1
Study author Dr. Georgios Georgiopoulos of Kings College London, UK and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece said: Establishing that elevated blood pressure causes atrial fibrillation provides further impetus for public health strategies aimed at improving blood pressure control in the general population and for individual efforts to keep levels in check.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting more than 40 million individuals globally.2 People with the disorder have a five times greater risk of having a stroke. Previous studies have shown an association between high blood pressure and developing atrial fibrillation, but there was no strong evidence of direct causality.
To investigate whether blood pressure has a direct impact on the risk of atrial fibrillation, the researchers conducted a naturally randomised controlled trial called Mendelian randomisation. They used data from the largest genome-wide association study on blood pressure and atrial fibrillation which included more than one million individuals of European ancestry of which 60,620 had atrial fibrillation and 970,216 did not.
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How To Reduce Stroke Risk
Stroke is not inevitable, even if you are among the millions with high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation. Preventing or controlling high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation can greatly lower your chances of having a stroke. Heres how:
- Take your medication as prescribed if you have high blood pressure;or atrial fibrillation.
Stroke prevention is often the focus of doctor-patient conversations in atrial fibrillation, Dr. Sacco said. But for people with high blood pressure, busy physicians dont always rank discussions about preventing stroke as high as wed like, he said. We have so many very effective medicines to treat high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation. If more patients with high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation are properly treated, were optimistic the number of projected strokes will go down.