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life-threatening

FAQs Newly Diagnosed with A-Fib: LIfe Threatening?

 FAQs Newly Diagnosed: Life Threatening?

Maze heart You are not alone - with outline 175 pix at 96 res5. “Can I die from my Atrial Fibrillation? Is it life threatening?”

Most episodes of A-Fib are not life threatening. Even though you may feel awful, it’s not like having a heart attack.

The biggest danger from A-Fib is the risk of stroke. Because your heart isn’t pumping out properly, blood clots can form and travel to the brain causing stroke. If you have A-Fib, you are five times more likely to have a stroke than the general population. It’s most important to take a blood thinner like warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin to help prevent these clots from forming.

If you’ve had A-Fib for a long time, your heart may enlarge, develop fibrosis and eventually weaken. You may become more prone to other heart problems. For example, If you have A-Fib and aren’t being treated by a doctor, you are five-to-six times more likely to have a stroke than the general population. Also, A-Fib may lead to mental deterioration. Atrial fibrillation is independently associated with senile, vascular, and alzheimer’s dementia.

For more about the physiology of A-Fib, see our Overview of Atrial Fibrillation.

Last updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Go back to FAQ for the Newly Diagnosed A-Fib Patient

FAQs from Newly Diagnosed Patient

You are not alone. A-Fib.comFrequently Asked Questions by Newly Diagnosed Patients

Newly diagnosed Atrial Fibrillation patients have many questions about living with A-Fib. These are answers to the most frequently asked questions by patients and their families. (Click on the question to jump to the answer)

1.  My doctor says I had an attack of A-Fib. How much trouble am I in?

2.  Did I cause my Atrial Fibrillation? Am I responsible for getting A-Fib?

3.  “Could my A-Fib go away on its own? I don’t want to take any medication. Can I just wait and see?”

4.  “Is Atrial Fibrillation a prelude to a heart attack?

5.  “Can I die from my Atrial Fibrillation? Is it life threatening?”

6.  “Is Atrial Fibrillation curable? Or can you only treat or control it? Should I seek a cure?

7.  “Is there a diet I could follow which would cure my A-Fib?

8.  “Should I cool my sex life? Can I exercise if I have Atrial Fibrillation? Should I exercise?

9.  “I have a lot of stress at work. Does this stress cause or trigger my A-Fib?”

10. “Can I drive my car if I have Atrial Fibrillation?

11. “Is drinking coffee (tea, colas, other products with caffeine) going to make my A-Fib worse or trigger an A-Fib attack?

12. “Is there anything I can do to get out of an A-Fib episode? How do others deal with their episodes?

13. “Should I carry a wallet card or a medical ID? I have A-Fib and take Coumadin. In case of an A-Fib emergency, what information should I include?

14. “I live in fear of my A-Fib. I never know when I’m going to get an A-Fib attack or how long it will last. How do I deal with the anxiety? 

15. “Should I see a cardiologist for my A-Fib and not just my primary care doctor? He wants to prescribe medication. Should I also see a specialist?”

Last updated: Monday, July 13, 2015

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