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Screening for atrial fibrillation: An update
Wearable devices can detect this often-silent heart disorder. But as screening tools, they’re not ready for prime time yet.
Nearly one in 11 people ages 65 and older have atrial fibrillation (afib), a heart rhythm disorder that causes bouts of rapid, irregular heartbeats. These unpredictable episodes — which may be fleeting or last for weeks or longer — may trigger symptoms such as dizziness and breathlessness, but not always.
However, the greatest threat from afib comes from the heightened risk of stroke that accompanies the condition. Because the heart’s upper chambers (atria) don’t contract regularly, blood may stagnate in the left atrium and form clots. If a clot escapes, it can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
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Managing Atrial Fibrillation
Managing Atrial Fibrillation will explain what atrial fibrillation is, how to know if you have it, its causes, and the treatments available. Afib can be a complex health condition, so the more you know about it, the better you will be able to work with your doctor. If afib is monitored and treated correctly, you can minimize its symptoms and help to prevent serious complications like stroke and heart damage.