Harvard Heart Letter

What it means when your doctor says…"You have atrial fibrillation"

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that may also be faster than usual. If it doesn’t resolve by itself, treatment may be needed to stop uncomfortable symptoms and prevent a blood clot that may cause a stroke. Medications can control the heart rate or regulate the rhythm. Sometimes a procedure is performed to eliminate the cells causing atrial fibrillation. Most people with atrial fibrillation must also take a drug to prevent a blood clot from forming in the heart and getting into the circulation, where it could cause a stroke.
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