By Bruce A. Koplan, MD, MPH, director of the cardiac arrhythmia service for Care New England and a member of the Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular Associates at Care New England

Did you know Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) affects more than two million people in the United States?

According to the American Heart Association, AFib is the most common type of irregular heart rhythm, which can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. Many individuals are unaware that AFib is a serious condition, even though untreated atrial fibrillation doubles the risk of heart-related deaths and is associated with a five-fold increased risk for stroke.

That being said, there are several methods and treatment options that allow those diagnosed with AFib to maintain a normal, active, and healthy lifestyle.

The American Heart Association lists several treatment options and goals, which include:

  • Restoring the heart to a normal rhythm (rhythm control).
  • Reducing an overly high heart rate (rate control).
  • Preventing blood clots (called prevention of thromboembolism such as stroke).
  • Managing risk factors for stroke.
  • Preventing additional heart rhythm problems.
  • Preventing heart failure.

To help raise awareness and educate the community, Care New England Cardiovascular Care along with the Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular Associates at Care New England will offer its fourth annual educational symposium, on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. For more information on the event or to register, please contact Jeanne Therrien at JTherrien@kentri.org or (401) 737-7010, ext. 32880.

If you are looking for additional resources, Care New England offers a number of cardiac programs ensuring patients receive the highest quality care. Please visit carenewengland.org/cardiology to learn more.