You may be able to prevent atrial fibrillation (AF) by leading a healthy lifestyle and taking steps to lower your risk for heart disease. These steps include:
- Not smoking
- Following a heart healthy diet that is low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and that includes a variety of grains, fruits, and vegetables daily
- Getting regular physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy weight
If you have heart disease or risk factors, you should work with your doctor to control your condition and lower your risk of complications, such as AF. In addition to following the healthy lifestyle steps above, which also can help control heart disease, your doctor may advise you to to take one or more of the following steps:
- Follow the DASH eating plan to help lower your blood pressure.
- Keep your cholesterol (total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)) and triglycerides at healthy levels with dietary changes and/or medicines.
- Limit or avoid alcohol.
- Control blood glucose (blood sugar) levels if you have diabetes.
- Get regular checkups.
- Take medicines as directed.
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2009