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Are Women At High Risk For Atrial Fibrillation?



Atrial fibrillation is a condition of the heart which results from the irregular beating of the heart. The heart has a regular rhythm which is important for the filling and emptying of its chambers in a timely manner which ensures that blood brought from the body is purified and sent back to the body in a timely manner.

If this rhythm is interrupted then it will affect the blood supplied by the heart and as a result, the oxygen carried by the blood is reduced to the vital organs of the body like the brain and kidneys. During atrial fibrillation, the heart starts to tremble and quiver instead of doing its job which is to beat efficiently.


The goal of treatment for atrial fibrillation is to stabilize the heart rhythm and prevent the heart from quivering. This is treated usually with medications that will slow your heartbeat if it beats too fast or speeds up your heart rate if your heart is beating too slow. If that does not work then there are other procedures like catheter ablation and maze procedures that the doctor will recommend to take care of the fibrillating heart.

How does it affect women?

Even though both men and women are at risk for atrial fibrillation, recent studies have proved that women are at a higher risk for atrial fibrillation than women. Women with atrial fibrillation have a higher risk of death and stroke and this is more common in women who are obese and have crossed their middle age.

Risk of death

Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of death in women especially women who have crossed middle age. According to a study which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association older people in general and especially women have a higher risk of dying if they have atrial fibrillation.


Atrial fibrillation will ultimately lead to stroke due to a lack of oxygen supply to the brain. When the heart does not have a regular rhythm it affects the heart output which can stop valuable blood supply and therefore oxygen to the brain. Blood clots can also form in the quivering areas of the heart. This is a precursor for stroke which is known as a risk factor for death for more women than men in the United States.

Obesity is a risk factor

Obesity is a major risk factor for people with atrial fibrillation especially women. Studies have indicated that obese women without any other major risk factors are at high risk for new-onset atrial fibrillation. It is recommended that women should join weight loss programs and reduce their weight.

Getting trained to help people with atrial fibrillation

If you are planning to start a career in healthcare or you want to help out people around you when they need basic life support services or advanced life support during cardiac emergencies like atrial fibrillation, there are several certifications that you can enroll in to be qualified to help in such emergencies.

Basic Life Support (BLS) course will teach you how to provide basic life support services to a victim who has stopped breathing due to heart problems or choking or any other cause. This course is recommended and is mandatory for healthcare professionals. This certification has to be renewed every two years.

Heartsaver CPR and AED course is a simple course that will teach you the basics of providing mouth to mouth resuscitation and instructions on how to correctly administer the automated external defibrillator in a cardiac emergency.

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) is a course that will train you to give care to a cardiac patient undergoing cardiac emergency. This course places more emphasis and provides training in managing the patient’s condition during cardiac arrest.

Acute Stroke Online is an excellent course that provides training on how to recognize the signs of stroke in a person and how to act quickly in order to save the life of that patient.