Research suggests people experiencing short atrial fibrillation episodes face low risk of stroke
Previous research suggested that atrial fibrillation -- a common abnormal heart rhythm that affects roughly 2.7 million Americans -- could cause increased risk for cardiovascular complications if affected peoples’ episodes were prolonged.
Up until now, however, it has been unclear whether shorter episodes also cause issues.
“We knew that people with atrial fibrillation are at higher risk of stroke, but the next question was, how much atrial fibrillation?” Steven Swiryn, lead author and clinical professor of cardiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, said. “Other studies have shown that prolonged episodes of atrial fibrillation pose a risk, but what about short ones? The answer until this study was, ‘no one knows.’ Now we have good solid data that if all you have is short episodes of atrial fibrillation, the risk is so low that it doesn’t warrant anticoagulants.”
Coauthors of the research include Michael Orlov, David Benditt, John DiMarco, Donald Lloyd-Jones, Edward Karst, Fujian Qu, Mara Slawsky, Melanie Turkel and Albert Waldo.