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Video: Atrial Fibrillation Requires A Lifestyle Change
Atrial Fibrillation Requires a Lifestyle Change
Lifestyle changes are an effective strategy that can help treat atrial fibrillation. Scientists believe that doctors and patients do not use this method often enough.
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Lifestyle changes are an effective strategy that can help treat atrial fibrillation, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement published in Circulation. Scientists noted that doctors and patients do not use this method often enough.
With atrial fibrillation, the contraction of the upper chambers of the heart (atria) is accelerated and erratic. This interferes with normal blood circulation and increases the risk of blood clots. Blood clots can enter the bloodstream into the brain and cause ischemic stroke.
“While established treatment protocols remain mandatory, helping AF patients adopt healthier lifestyle habits, whenever possible, will help reduce arrhythmia episodes,” said Mina K. Chung, who led the writing team. …
Scientists have identified the main healthy habits that will benefit from atrial fibrillation - controlling and losing weight, following a diet when overweight, and following an individualized physical activity plan to improve physical fitness.
Obesity is one of the serious risk factors for the development of persistent atrial fibrillation, since it leads to the expansion and distension of the atria. For example, when overweight and obese participants in an Australian study lost 10% of their weight, they were less likely to develop rhythm disturbances. In addition, obesity is often associated with sleep apnea, which increases the risk of atrial fibrillation.
Regarding physical activity, regular moderate exercise is appropriate for the prevention and treatment of AF, while extreme exercise, on the contrary, increases the risk of its occurrence.
To increase motivation, the authors advise setting specific achievable goals for weight and physical activity, using various applications for smartphones and wearables that help to track activity level, composition and calorie content of food. The encouragement and support from doctors and health professionals also has a positive impact.
In addition to the above, scientists recommend getting rid of bad habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Smoking, in addition to increasing the risk of atrial fibrillation, also reduces the effectiveness of treatment for this disease.