If you have atrial fibrillation you should be evaluated, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Atrial fibrillation is a condition where the top part of the heart called the atria don’t beat regularly. Johns Hopkins cardiologist and electrophysiologist Hugh Calkins says while afib, as it is abbreviated, is very common it can also raise the risk for cardiovascular events.

Calkins: Treatment of a-fib you start out by making the diagnosis, first thing you want to prevent strokes, you want to assess their stroke risk profile, give them a blood thinner if they’re high risk, then you want to talk about whether you want to get them back to normal rhythm or not and generally we try to do that with medications or procedures. If we can’t get them back to normal rhythm we can slow it down, and then we always want to think about risk factor modification, losing weight, cutting down alcohol, controlling blood pressure. To treat afib we do what’s called afib ablation, this is a very commonly performed procedure. :30

Calkins says thorough evaluation of your specific condition is needed in order to tailor the best treatment approach for you. The good news is afib can be managed successfully for most. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.