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Common Complication of Atrial Fibrillation Discovered in Recent Study, Health News Reported by ET HealthWorld

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A recent Danish study published in The BMJ reveals alarming statistics regarding the lifetime risk of atrial fibrillation, a heart disorder characterized by an irregular and often excessively fast pulse rate. The study, which spanned over two decades, reported an increase in the lifetime risk of atrial fibrillation from one in four to one in three.

According to the study, individuals with atrial fibrillation face a high risk of developing heart failure and stroke, with little to no change in risk observed over the 20-year period. The researchers emphasize the need for stroke and heart failure prevention strategies for individuals diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

The study analyzed national data for 3.5 million Danish adults with no history of atrial fibrillation, tracking their health outcomes over a 23-year period. Among the individuals diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, two in five were likely to develop heart failure, while one in five would suffer a stroke.

Notably, the lifetime risk of atrial fibrillation was found to be higher among men and individuals with a history of heart failure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. Despite these concerning findings, the study authors caution that the results are observational, and no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect.

While interventions to prevent stroke have been the primary focus of atrial fibrillation research and guidelines, the study highlights the critical need for treatments to decrease stroke risk and implement heart failure prevention strategies for individuals living with atrial fibrillation. The study also emphasizes the importance of aligning research priorities and guidelines to address the growing burden of atrial fibrillation and its associated complications.

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