Living with Atrial Fibrillation

Living with Atrial Fibrillation

Julie Shea, NP, Program Coordinator for the Living with Atrial Fibrillation Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), talks about atrial fibrillation diagnosis, treatments, and research.  Atrial fibrillation treatment is important, as the condition can worsen over time as the heart muscles become overworked and weak, making it even more difficult for the atria to function properly. Atrial fibrillation treatment often includes medication or ablation therapy.

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm, originating in the upper left chamber of the heart, that affects over two million Americans.  When atrial fibrillation occurs, the upper chambers of the heart beat in a rapid, unorganized rhythm. Symptoms can include palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath and fatigue. Although the exact cause of atrial fibrillation is not always understood, it is often associated with increased age, sleep apnea, surgery and a number of heart ailments including atherosclerosis, angina, heart failure, heart attack or congenital heart disease.

The Cardiac Arrhythmia Service, part of the Heart & Vascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital,  is an internationally recognized leader in arrhythmia treatment.

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Read the Living with Atrial Fibrillation video transcript.

Created by

Brigham and Women's Physician Resource Center