Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. It is one of the most common forms of abnormal heart rhythm and a major cause of stroke. We estimate that around 7,000 people in the Vale of York CCG area have this condition but many are undiagnosed.

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Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

What is atrial fibrillation?

When the heart beats normally, its muscular walls contract (tighten and squeeze) to force blood out and around the body. They then relax, so the heart can fill with blood again. This process is repeated every time the heart beats.

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What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

AF can cause problems including dizzinessshortness of breath and tiredness.

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How can I check for atrial fibrillation?

A normal heart rate should be regular and between 60 and 100 beats per minute when resting.

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When to see your GP?

You should make an appointment to see your GP if:

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Treating atrial fibrillation

Most people with AF will require an anticoagulant, but a small number of these won't as it depends on the risk.

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If I've got AF, what is my risk of having a stroke?

Stroke risk calculator


If I've got AF, what can I do to reduce the risk of having a stroke?

AF can increase the risk of a blood clot forming inside the heart. If the clot travels to the brain, it can lead to a stroke.

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