Dr. Ronnie Garcia KSAT Feature - Healthy heart: Understanding symptoms of AFib (September 2023)

Sep 24, 2023

A healthy heart is central to overall good health and can protect people from disease and various medical complications. People with AFib have a significantly higher risk of stroke than the average population.

Dr. Ronnie Garcia, a board-certified cardiovascular disease specialist, explains that atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common arrhythmia in adults, with about 9% of the population over 65 suffering from it.

AFib is characterized by the quivering of the top chambers of the heart, leading to palpitations. According to Garcia, common risk factors for developing AFib include high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, coronary disease, and thyroid disease.

Symptoms of AFib include irregular fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, fatigue, and the risk of stroke.

Treatment options include blood thinners, medications to slow down the heart or restore normal rhythm, and procedures like ablation. With proper treatment, patients can have minimal symptoms and prevent stroke effectively, Garcia said.