Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, is the most common form of arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. People with AFib are five times more likely to suffer stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 15 to 20 percent of ischemic strokes, which happen when blood flowing to your brain is blocked by a clot or fatty deposit, are caused by AFib.
AFib’s irregular heartbeat can interrupt the blood flow and can result in blood pooling in your heart, especially in the left atrial appendage, and forming a blood clot.
If a blood clot breaks free and travels to your brain, a stroke can occur.
Your risk of stroke depends on several factors – age, gender, diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease and history of previous strokes. Cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Shang-Chiun Lee with Mercy Clinic Cardiology has seven things you can do to help lower your risk of stroke while living with AFib:
Talk to your Mercy heart specialist about AFib treatment options and simple lifestyle changes to help lower your risk of stroke. We’ll develop a care plan specific to your needs so you can continue living life to the fullest – with a strong, healthy heart.
Find out about atrial fibrillation risk factors, tests and treatment options. Download our guide.