Heart Beat: August 2012

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While hypertension remains one of the strongest risk factors for atrial fibrillation (AF), palpitations also appear be a strong predictor for AF, too, according a study reported in a recent issue of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Researchers found that men who experienced frequent palpitations faced a 91 percent greater risk of AF and women a 62 percent higher risk than those who did not have palpitations. The study also reaffirmed hypertension as a major risk factor for AF for men and women. Researchers say their findings emphasize the importance of greater blood pressure control, as well as the need to take palpitations seriously and have patients who experience palpitations undergo prolonged electrocardiogram monitoring. If you experience palpitations, you should report them to your doctor, explaining how often you have them, what youre doing when they start, how long they last and what, if anything, helps them subside.
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