Study Finds Irregular Heartbeats Linked to Several Health Risks

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A new study finds irregular heartbeats, or atrial fibrillation (AFIB), may be tied to a higher risk of heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease and sudden death.

SLU Care cardiologist Dr. Michael Lim at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital says the reason why is because an irregular heartbeat is associated with a lot of things.

“A lot of time [atrial fibrillation is] associated with people who have weaker heart pumps, leaky heart valves, high blood pressure [and] previous damage to their heart from other heart attacks,” Lim says.

Lim adds if AFIB is detected, doctors need to follow guidelines to manage the condition and be sure to screen for any associated conditions.

“Treat high blood pressure,” Lim says. “Make sure if the heart function is not optimal that we get the right evaluation and the right treatment for that. With atrial fibrillation, make sure that we use the blood thinners to prevent blood clots from forming and strokes. And if that’s not possible, there’s other ways to prevent strokes as well.”

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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