Atrial Fibrillation and Your Stroke Risk

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation (also referred to as AF or Afib) is the most common type of irregular heartbeat. Disorganized electrical activity causes irregular heartbeats that lead to blood pooling and clotting, which can cause stroke and other serious health issues. People who suffer from atrial fibrillation may have palpitations (a sudden pounding, fluttering or racing feeling in the chest), lack of energy, dizziness, chest discomfort, and difficulty breathing during normal activities or even at rest. High blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart conditions, obesity, sleep apnea and age are all causes of atrial fibrillation. Luckily, atrial fibrillation is curable.

Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologists

If you experience the above symptoms, it may be time to speak to a cardiac electrophysiologist. A cardiac electrophysiologist specializes in the electrical disorders of the heart. At Holy Cross Hospital, we can make the diagnosis and provide comprehensive treatment to bring your heart back to its regular beat.

Know Your Stroke Risk Associated with Atrial Fibrillation

Afib increases your risk for a stroke. The CHA2DS2-VASc score aims to predict stroke risk for patients who are suffering from atrial fibrillation.

Stroke Risk Assessment

If any of the CHA2DS2-VASc risks apply to you (left hand column), find the corresponding Score for each. Add up your scores for each risk factor, and this will provide you with your CHA2DS2-VASc Score. Find this number under the CHA2DS2-VASc Score column, and this will give you the corresponding stroke risk under the Adjusted stroke rate column.

As you can see, gender is factored into this evaluation. This is due to the strong evidence from published clinical studies which showed that women are at higher risk for stroke. If you suffer from atrial fibrillation, having proper risk stratification done by your physician is vital in preventing possible stroke. With the use of relatively simple risk scoring algorithms, your physician can assess and treat your atrial fibrillation and prevent a possibly devastating stroke.

If you have any questions in determining your stroke risk, speak with your physician.

To lower your stroke risk, ask your physician about the symptoms of atrial fibrillation you are experiencing and the possible treatment options.
Find a Holy Cross Medical Group cardiac electrophysiologist by calling 866-988-DOCS (3627) or search for a physician online.