What causes atrial fibrillation? Genetics and age play a role, but the big three contributing factors of A-fib are age, high blood pressure, and obesity. Because two of these three major contributing factors are within our control many cases of A-fib, just like many other forms of heart disease, are often preventable. By taking control of our lifestyles, making sure our blood pressure is under control and maintaining an ideal body weight we can significantly decrease chances of A-fib.
For individuals who already have A-fib, there is evidence that managing the overall risk factors for cardiovascular disease can improve the symptoms of A-fib. This could mean fewer episodes, less severe episodes, and less severe symptoms. In short, it can help improve your quality of life.
Ways of managing the overall risk factors of cardiovascular disease and A-fib include having a healthy and active lifestyle as well as:
- Quitting smoking
- Controlling high blood pressure
- Being sure to get treatment for sleep apnea if you have it
- Following a heart healthy diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting regular exercise
- Avoiding alcohol, or at least consuming it in moderation
- Keeping your cholesterol and triglycerides within a healthy range
Stay safe & be well,