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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat. A disorder in the heart’s electrical system causes AF and other types of arrhythmia. AF occurs when rapid, disorganized electrical signals in the heart’s two upper chambers, called the atria, cause them to contract very fast and irregularly (this is called fibrillation). As a result, blood pools in the atria and isn’t pumped completely into the heart’s two lower chambers, called the ventricles. When this happens, the heart’s upper and lower chambers don’t work together as they should. Often, people who have AF may not even feel symptoms. However, even when not noticed, AF can lead to an increased risk of stroke. In many patients, particularly when the rhythm is extremely rapid, AF can cause chest pain, heart attack, or heart failure. AF may occur rarely or every now and then, or it may become a persistent or permanent heart rhythm lasting for years.
Andy Murray becomes brand ambassador for Scotland’s DHI

Andy Murray becomes brand ambassador for Scotland’s DHI

International tennis superstar Andy Murray has teamed up with one of Scotland’s leading innovation centres to highlight the potential of technology to provide more efficient and effective health and care services in the UK and across the world. [More]
Study identifies ten potentially modifiable risk factors for stroke

Study identifies ten potentially modifiable risk factors for stroke

Hypertension remains the single most important modifiable risk factor for stroke, and the impact of hypertension and nine other risk factors together account for 90% of all strokes, according to an analysis of nearly 27000 people from every continent in the world, published in The Lancet. [More]
Study finds link between AF and reduced frontal lobe brain volumes

Study finds link between AF and reduced frontal lobe brain volumes

According to a recent Framingham Heart Study, people who experience the heart arrhythmia atrial fibrillation (AF), may also suffer from a smaller brain, specifically reduced frontal lobe volume. [More]
Aggressive home blood pressure monitoring may contribute to rise in emergency department visits

Aggressive home blood pressure monitoring may contribute to rise in emergency department visits

Visits to emergency departments for patients with hypertension increased by 64 percent between 2002 and 2012 while hospitalizations for those visits declined by 28 percent. [More]
Novel blood coagulation analyzer may help detect stroke risk in AF patients

Novel blood coagulation analyzer may help detect stroke risk in AF patients

Researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University show that an analyzer recently developed to measure blood coagulability has the sensitivity to detect hypercoagulatibility associated with stroke risk in those without atrial fibrillation [More]
'Comprehensive' management approach needed for AF

'Comprehensive' management approach needed for AF

Death is a bigger risk than stroke among patients with atrial fibrillation, particularly during the first 4 months after diagnosis, research shows. [More]
Unidentified valvular heart disease very common in elderly

Unidentified valvular heart disease very common in elderly

Over half of community-living elderly people are likely to have valvular heart disease, show findings of OxVALVE-PCS. [More]
Pharmacotherapy reduces conduction system disease risk

Pharmacotherapy reduces conduction system disease risk

Lisinopril therapy significantly reduces incident conduction system disease, indicates a post-hoc analysis of ALLHAT data. [More]
Mathematical model helps investigate mechanisms involved in genesis of AF-related dementia

Mathematical model helps investigate mechanisms involved in genesis of AF-related dementia

Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common cardiac arrhythmia, turns out to be a potential mechanism into the genesis of AF-related cognitive impairment/dementia. [More]
Cardiologist Emelia Benjamin receives AHA 2016 Gold Heart Award

Cardiologist Emelia Benjamin receives AHA 2016 Gold Heart Award

Emelia J. Benjamin, MD, ScM, FACC, FAHA, professor of medicine in the section of cardiovascular medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, is the recipient of the American Heart Association's 2016 Gold Heart Award. [More]
Race impacts adverse outcomes in atrial fibrillation

Race impacts adverse outcomes in atrial fibrillation

Black individuals with atrial fibrillation have markedly higher rates of stroke, heart failure, coronary heart disease and mortality than their White counterparts, data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study show. [More]
NOACs match warfarin for atrial fibrillation

NOACs match warfarin for atrial fibrillation

Real-world study data from Denmark show that non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants are effective alternatives to warfarin in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation in a routine care setting. [More]
Cardiac surgery patients who received omega-3 supplementation experience reduced hospital stays

Cardiac surgery patients who received omega-3 supplementation experience reduced hospital stays

A new meta-analysis published in Clinical Nutrition found that cardiac surgery patients who received omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (compared to placebo) in advance of surgery experienced reduced postoperative cardiac arrhythmias and significantly reduced the length of hospital stay by up to 2.4 days. The results are based on 11 RCT's with 1038 patients. [More]
AF patients at risk for stroke mostly treated with aspirin-only prescription instead of blood thinners

AF patients at risk for stroke mostly treated with aspirin-only prescription instead of blood thinners

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine report that more than 1 in 3 atrial fibrillation (AF) patients at intermediate to high risk for stroke are treated with aspirin alone, despite previous data showing this therapy to be inferior to blood thinners. [More]
Apixaban effective in polypharmacy setting

Apixaban effective in polypharmacy setting

The superiority of apixaban over warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation is maintained in those taking multiple medications, shows further analysis of the ARISTOTLE trial. [More]
Worsening renal function linked to increased cardiovascular risk in AF

Worsening renal function linked to increased cardiovascular risk in AF

Patients with atrial fibrillation and declining renal function are at increased risk of subsequent stroke or systemic embolism, major bleeding and death, US researchers report. [More]
Watchman device for irregular heart rhythms may be preferable to standard blood thinning medications

Watchman device for irregular heart rhythms may be preferable to standard blood thinning medications

A new study by a Yale researcher may support the use of a device for patients suffering from irregular heart rhythms. [More]
Penn researchers explore possibilities to improve outcomes in low flow AS patients treated with TAVR

Penn researchers explore possibilities to improve outcomes in low flow AS patients treated with TAVR

Aortic stenosis (AS), the narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart which causes restricted blood flow, is one of the most common and serious valve disease problems. For patients with one type of AS - low flow - transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive procedure which corrects the damaged aortic valve, is often the best option for restoring the heart's normal pumping function. [More]
Study evaluates effectiveness of robotic approach over manual ablation in treating heart arrhythmia

Study evaluates effectiveness of robotic approach over manual ablation in treating heart arrhythmia

Whether ablation of the highest-risk heart arrhythmia is best handled by a robot or the hands of an electrophysiologist should be answered by an international comparison of the two. [More]
Consensus paper on atrial cardiomyopathies could be important step forward for research, treatment

Consensus paper on atrial cardiomyopathies could be important step forward for research, treatment

The first consensus paper on atrial cardiomyopathies is set to be published simultaneously in EP-Europace, HeartRhythm, and the Journal of Arrhythmia. The key contents are launched today at CARDIOSTIM - EHRA EUROPACE 2016. [More]
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