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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.
New oral blood thinners can decrease stroke risk in atrial fibrillation patients without frequent monitoring

New oral blood thinners can decrease stroke risk in atrial fibrillation patients without frequent monitoring

A new generation of blood thinners can reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, without requiring frequent monitoring and dietary restrictions. [More]
Micra Transcatheter Pacing System approved to treat heart rhythm disorders

Micra Transcatheter Pacing System approved to treat heart rhythm disorders

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first pacemaker that does not require the use of wired leads to provide an electrical connection between the pulse-generating device and the heart. While the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System works like other pacemakers to regulate heart rate, the self-contained, inch-long device is implanted directly in the right ventricle chamber of the heart. [More]
Patient's personal activity tracker, smartphone can help physicians treat new-onset atrial fibrillation

Patient's personal activity tracker, smartphone can help physicians treat new-onset atrial fibrillation

Emergency physicians used a patient's personal activity tracker and smartphone to identify the time his heart arrhythmia started, which allowed them to treat his new-onset atrial fibrillation with electrical cardioversion and discharge him home. [More]
Two common approaches to post-operative AF equally safe, effective

Two common approaches to post-operative AF equally safe, effective

Cleveland Clinic researchers, as part of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network, have found that two common approaches to post-operative atrial fibrillation - rhythm control and rate control - are equally safe and effective. [More]
Two established atrial fibrillation ablation techniques show similar effects, safety outcomes

Two established atrial fibrillation ablation techniques show similar effects, safety outcomes

Two established techniques for correcting the root cause of the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation show similar effects and safety outcomes, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 65th Annual Scientific Session. [More]
Loyola to conduct clinical trial of new procedure to treat atrial fibrillation

Loyola to conduct clinical trial of new procedure to treat atrial fibrillation

Loyola Medicine is enrolling patients in a landmark clinical trial of a new procedure to treat atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat. [More]
Researchers find major gap in treatment for AF patients at higher risk for stroke

Researchers find major gap in treatment for AF patients at higher risk for stroke

Nearly half of all atrial fibrillation (AF) patients at the highest risk for stroke are not being prescribed blood thinners by their cardiologists, according to a new study by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and University of California, San Francisco. [More]
AliveCor's new Kardia Band for Apple Watch allows people to capture medical-grade EKG anytime, anywhere

AliveCor's new Kardia Band for Apple Watch allows people to capture medical-grade EKG anytime, anywhere

AliveCor, Inc., the leader in FDA-cleared electrocardiogram (EKG) technology for mobile devices, announced today the introduction of the first medical-grade EKG band for the Apple Watch, Kardia Band (pending 510k clearance, available in late spring) along with a new app for smartphones (available now). [More]
Paroxysmal AF patients who practice yoga have better quality of life

Paroxysmal AF patients who practice yoga have better quality of life

Yoga improves quality of life in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, according to research published today in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. Heart rate and blood pressure also decreased in patients who did yoga. [More]
Valley Hospital to evaluate potential new treatment alternative for AFib patients

Valley Hospital to evaluate potential new treatment alternative for AFib patients

The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ, is one of 15 U.S. sites currently enrolling patients in a research study to evaluate a potential new treatment alternative for patients with symptomatic persistent and long standing persistent atrial fibrillation (AFib). [More]
RUVICA (ibrutinib) capsules approved for treatment-naïve CLL patients

RUVICA (ibrutinib) capsules approved for treatment-naïve CLL patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) capsules for treatment-naïve patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). [More]
UAB researchers focus on five key areas to improve care of CVD patients

UAB researchers focus on five key areas to improve care of CVD patients

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year — that's one in every four deaths. The impact of cardiovascular diseases is quite large. [More]
High-intensity exercise may promote permanent structural changes in the heart

High-intensity exercise may promote permanent structural changes in the heart

There is growing evidence that high levels of intense exercise may be cardiotoxic and promote permanent structural changes in the heart, which can, in some individuals, predispose them to experience arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm). [More]
New BayCare Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery office opens at St. Anthony's Hospital

New BayCare Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery office opens at St. Anthony's Hospital

To improve access to high-quality, advanced cardiac surgery services in St. Petersburg and south Pinellas County, BayCare Health System has opened a BayCare Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery office at St. Anthony's Hospital. [More]
Differences in patient education level may compromise safety, efficacy of anticoagulants

Differences in patient education level may compromise safety, efficacy of anticoagulants

Patients with no schooling benefit least from blood thinning medications, reveals a European Heart Rhythm Association / European Society of Cardiology survey published today in Europace. [More]
Prolonged monitoring increases AF yield in stroke survivors

Prolonged monitoring increases AF yield in stroke survivors

Another presentation at the International Stroke Conference today shows that prolonged periods of Holter-ECG monitoring markedly increase detection of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in patients with stroke. [More]
ACC, AHA support implementation of proposed cardiovascular measures, with reservations

ACC, AHA support implementation of proposed cardiovascular measures, with reservations

Quality measures announced today by the Core Quality Measures Collaborative represent a step forward in reducing paperwork and confusion while also allowing providers to focus on measures that impact patient outcomes, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) said in support of implementation of the proposed cardiovascular measures. But the groups expressed reservations about blood pressure targets included in the measures. [More]
Digoxin drug can help protect against atherosclerosis

Digoxin drug can help protect against atherosclerosis

New research in mice provides convincing evidence that digoxin, a drug prescribed to treat atrial fibrillation, can help protect against atherosclerosis. [More]
New blood clotting analysis system could help determine effects antithrombotic (anti-clotting) drugs

New blood clotting analysis system could help determine effects antithrombotic (anti-clotting) drugs

A new blood clotting analysis system designed in Japan makes it easier to determine the effects of taking one or more antithrombotic (anti-clotting) drugs. [More]
Study shows regular caffeine consumption does not lead to extra heartbeats

Study shows regular caffeine consumption does not lead to extra heartbeats

Contrary to current clinical belief, regular caffeine consumption does not lead to extra heartbeats, which, while common, can lead in rare cases to heart- or stroke-related morbidity and mortality, according to UC San Francisco researchers. [More]
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