Avoiding afib hospitalizations

Image: Thinkstock

Published: September, 2014

What you need to know about this common heart condition.

Almost three million people in the United States struggle with the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation (afib), in which the heart's upper chambers (the atria) quiver futilely, rather than pumping steadily. This can lead to blood clots forming in the slow-moving blood. If clots form and travel in the blood to the brain, they can cause a stroke. Afib can also cause the heart's main pumping chambers (the ventricles) to pump too fast. The rapid heartbeat and quivering atria can combine to cause heart failure.

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