Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Signs include dizziness, weakness, and fatigue. Treatment involves medication and lifestyle changes, and sometimes procedures such as cardioversion, ablation, pacemakers or surgery.1
Source: 1WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/atrial-fibrillation/
AF treatment goals would be individualized, it is included the rate, rhythm convert(control) and stroke-prevention. However, AF patients still need a therapeutic strategy from a physician evaluation on their history, physical examination, blood test and other cardiac examination.
Rhythm control includes catheter ablation and medication maintenance.
Catheter ablation4: Sometimes medications or cardioversion to control atrial fibrillation doesn't work. In those cases, your doctor may recommend a procedure which was radiofrequency ablation to kill the area of heart tissue that's causing the erratic electrical signals and restore your heart to a normal rhythm.
On the other hand, doctors may be able to reset your heart to its regular rhythm (sinus rhythm) using a procedure called cardioversion to correct your condition, depending on the underlying cause of atrial fibrillation and how long you've had it.
Source: 4Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER)
Normal heart rate is 60-100 bpm. However, atrial fibrillation may reach more than 150 bpm. Heart rate control makes patient more comfort and less occurring of heart failure symptoms. The first choice of rate control is Beta-Blocker. Of course, you still need to be consulted by your cardiologist for using this medication.
A heart with atrial fibrillation induces thrombi from the left atrial appendage and the subsequent event is an ischemic stroke. Once atrial fibrillation is diagnosed, your physician will decide to prescribe anticoagulation medication like Warfarin or Edoxaban (one kind of new oral anticoagulation therapy, NOAC) to prevent a stroke. Sometimes a patient with atrial fibrillation has minimal symptoms or even no symptoms at all. Freescan device that can tell real-time rhythm is critical to stroke prevention of atrial fibrillation.
Aging of arteries is associated with structural and functional changes of the vessel wall, which result in decreased vascular distensibility and elevated arterial stiffness. As a consequence of arterial stiffness, systolic blood pressure increases, causing a rise in left ventricular workload and subsequent hypertrophy, and diastolic blood pressure decreases, leading to an impaired coronary perfusion.5
Source: 5Arterial Stiffness and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke - The Rotterdam Study http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/113/5/657
Arterial age is an estimate of arterial stiffness. Your arteries age more slowly and more gracefully than the rest of you when nurtured with daily exercise, a healthful diet, and good relationships with family and friends. They age faster when they're constantly assaulted by cigarette smoke, foods laden with saturated and trans fats, chronic stress, and other traumas. Knowing your arterial age can give you a clearer picture of your heart's health. 6
Source: 6How old are your arteries, Harvard Health Publications, January, 2010
Three currently available tools estimate artery "age" using pulse wave velocity and carotid intima-media thickness.
Each heartbeat sends a wave of blood through the body's network of arteries. The stiffer the arteries, the faster this wave travels. Measuring the speed of the pulse wave provides information about how stiff or how flexible the arteries are.
The innermost layer of an artery's wall is called the intima; it provides a smooth surface for blood to flow through. The media is the middle layer; its muscle and elastic fibers let the vessel expand and contract with each heartbeat. The thicker the intima and the media, the more likely the artery is choked with cholesterol-filled atherosclerotic plaque.
The landmark Framingham Heart Study has been following the health of thousands of residents of one Massachusetts town since 1948. Data accumulated in the study have helped researchers create a general cardiovascular risk profile. With answers to a few questions, this tool estimates your chances of having a heart attack or stroke, needing bypass surgery or angioplasty, or developing peripheral vascular disease or heart failure. It also estimates your vascular age.
Source: 7How old are your arteries, Harvard Health Publications, January, 2010