RadioMD: The Dr. Leigh Vinocur Show

Irregular Heartbeat Risks for Women

February 12, 20169 min
Why are women more at risk for a cardiac episode or death from atrial fibrillation than men?Irregular heartbeat can be caused by several factors: genetics, smoking, drinking alcohol or caffeine, medications, stress, hard physical exercise, certain supplements, and illness. Atrial fibrillation is a specific kind of irregular heartbeat. Atrial fibrillation occurs when rapid, disorganized electrical signals cause the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) to contract in a sudden and irregular manner.A recent analysis published online in the British Medical Journal said that women are more at risk than men for stroke, heart disease, heart failure, and death from atrial fibrillation.Symptoms like shortness of breath or fatigue may not seem like obvious warning signs for heart disease, being chalked up to stress or feeling tired instead. The symptoms women experience may not be as apparent as those men experience.Why are women more at risk for a cardiac episode or death from atrial fibrillation than men?Listen in as doctoral student and Rhodes Scholar, Connor Emdin, talks about what atrial fibrillation signals women should heed and what preventative measures should be taken for optimum heart health.

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