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Atrial fibrillation is often not recognized
According to new estimates, around two million people in Germany suffer from atrial fibrillation. Although clear symptoms such as dizziness or rapid heartbeat are noticeable, the dangerous cardiac arrhythmia is not discovered. But heart problems can be life-threatening, since there is an increased stroke during the seizure phase.
Atrial fibrillation can lead to a stroke
As a rule, it is harmless if the heart stumbles from time to time: This can also be due to overexertion or excitement, among other things. However, if such irregularities occur more frequently or last longer, you should definitely consult a doctor. In the worst case, atrial fibrillation can lead to a stroke. This is what the German Senior League points out in its brochure on the subject, as the dpa news agency reports. It is explained that atrial fibrillation can lead to blood clots in the atria, which are carried along by the blood and then close the arteries.
Over two million Germans affected
With an estimated more than two million people affected, atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in Germany. If it is recognized in time, medication and a healthy lifestyle can be used to counteract it. Atrial fibrillation can also be alleviated by losing weight, as Australian researchers recently reported. However, according to the Senior League, it is problematic that atrial fibrillation is not necessarily associated with typical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest or dizziness and is therefore often initially dismissed by those affected.
Different causes of atrial fibrillation
According to the information, people with high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as older people aged 65 and over, are particularly at risk. People who smoke or who are overweight should also be checked regularly by a doctor. Other factors that can cause atrial fibrillation include diseases such as coronary artery disease (CHD), an overactive thyroid, chronic lung diseases or excessive alcohol consumption. Health experts advise having a blood pressure monitor at home that can show irregular heartbeats when measuring blood pressure. If in doubt, patients should have their heart rhythm checked using an EKG. (ad)