Why is Atrial Fibrillation Dangerous?

Many people live for years with atrial fibrillation without problems. However, AFIB is a progressive disorder that usually gets worse over time. Permanent atrial fibrillation can result in future problems:

  • Because the atria are beating rapidly and irregularly, blood does not flow through them as quickly. This makes the blood more likely to clot. If the clot is pumped out of the heart, it can travel to the brain, resulting in a stroke. People with atrial fibrillation are five to seven times more likely to have a stroke than the general population. Clots can also travel to other parts of the body (kidneys, heart, intestines), causing damage.

Atrial fibrillation can decrease the heart's pumping ability by as much as 20 to 25 percent. Atrial fibrillation, combined with a fast heart rate over a long period of time, can result in heart failure.

For more information call (813) 877-AFIB (2342).