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Heart Attack Prevention > Atrial Fibrillation

Find here the detailed information regarding the Atrial Fibrillation, its causes, symptoms and treatment for Atrial Fibrillation.

Atrial Fibrillation: Rapid, uncoordinated contractions of the atria, the upper chambers of the heart.
Atrial Fibrillation is the most common type of rapid, irregular heart rate. It affects up to large number of people over age of 50. During Atrial Fibrillation, the atria contract weekly at 300-500 beats per minute. Only some of the electrical impulses that cause this rapid beating are conducted through the heart to the ventricles (the lower chambers), which also beat faster than normal, at up to 160 beats per minute. Since the atria and ventricles are no longer beating in rhythm, the heartbeat becomes irregular in timing and in strength, leading to less blood being pumped.

The most dangerous complication of Atrial Fibrillation is stroke, the risk of which increases with age. Since the atria do not empty properly during contractions, the blood stagnates in them and may form a clot. If the part of the clot breaks off and enters the bloodstream, it may block an artery anywhere in the body (Thrombosis and embolism). A stroke occurs when part of a clot blocks an artery supplying the brain.

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