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Atrial Fibrillation can be Reversed by Losing Weight

Atrial fibrillation (AFib or AF) is the most common cause for an irregular heartbeat. This is a kind of arrhythmia, which means the heart is beating too slowly, too fast or in some abnormal way. However, even though the problem is in the heart, atrial fibrillation increases by five times the risk for having a stroke in the brain. AFib causes 15%–20% of ischemic strokes, which occur when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clot or by plaque in the lining of the blood vessel. More than 750,000 people are hospitalized every year in the US because of AFib and it is estimated that AFib is responsible for 130,000 deaths each year. The death rate from AFib has been rising for more than 20 years.


The treatment is mainly by anticoagulant drugs like Warfarin (Coumadin) to prevent the formation of blood clots that can lead to a stroke.

Medications to control the heartbeat may also be prescribed.


Lifestyle Changes

Obesity has been shown to be a very high risk factor for developing atrial fibrillation and losing weight can cure it. An Australian study published June 14, 2018, in the heart journal Eurospace  by the Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders at the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) discovered that losing just 10% of their weight could halt the progression of the disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 2.7–6.1 million people in the United States have AFib and as more people age the numbers are expected to increase. The risk for developing AFib increases with age and affects more women than men.

Symptoms of AFib

Some people who have AFib do not have any symptoms and do not know that they have this condition. Some of the symptoms are:

  • An Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart palpitations (rapid, fluttering, or pounding)
  • Feeling Lightheaded
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Feeling Short of breath
  • Chest pain

AFib Risk Factors

  • Aging
  • High blood pressure accounts for 14%-22% of AFib cases
  • Obesity
  • European ancestry
  • Diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Enlargement of chambers on left side of heart

Stroke Rehabilitation

If you or your loved one has suffered a stroke and are looking for a rehab to get state-of-the-art stroke rehabilitation try the Ditmas Park Rehab and Care Center in Brooklyn NY.

Brooklyn Hospitals near Ditmas Park Rehab and Care

New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn (formerly named NYU Lutheran Medical Center)

SUNY Downstate Medical Center – University Hospital of Brooklyn

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County

Maimonides Medical Center


By losing only 10% of their weight, the risk for a stroke can be reversed and the progression of this disease can be stopped.


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