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Atrial Fibrillation Health Center

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Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Myths and Facts


Myth: People with sleep apnea always have atrial fibrillation.

Fact: Many people have sleep apnea but don't have atrial fibrillation, according to Tomaselli. For some people, sleep apnea triggers AFib. In people with both conditions, treating both the sleep apnea and AFib is recommended.

Myth: The biggest AFib risk is heart attack.

Fact: This is not true. The most feared complication is stroke.

Your chance of having a stroke is five times higher if you have AFib than if you have no history of it. So it's important for people with AFib to take their medications correctly.  These drugs lower the chance of blood clots occurring in the chambers of the heart and traveling to the brain, which lowers the chance of stroke. Other treatments control the rate at which your heart beats.

Reviewed on November 04, 2013

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