Atrial fibrillation, Diagnosis, Healthcare, Heart Diseases, Heart Health

Can You Get AFib at Any Age? Interview With an Expert

Can You Get Atrial Fibrillation at Any Age

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is one of the most prevalent heart rhythm disorders on the globe. In 2016, 7.6 million people in the EU over the age of 65 were diagnosed with it. But, in 6 decades, that number will increase by a staggering 89%, published the European Society of Cardiology

That’s why it is now more important than ever to start preventing this health complication. The question is, how can you avoid it? Can you get AFib at any age? Who is more prone to developing the disease? Here is what experts have to say. 

Q: Who Is More Prone to Developing AFib?

A: Anyone can develop AFib, regardless of the type of medical condition they have. But, experts estimate that the older we get, the more vulnerable we are of developing it.

The odds of experiencing AFib rises with age. 

Since the body becomes prone to heart diseases, it also increases the likelihood of AFib. Other than age, multiple factors increase the risk of this condition. These include:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Binge drinking
  • Metabolic condition
  • Sleep apnea
  • Family history
  • Underlying cardiovascular illnesses 

Genes are sometimes the main contributor.

Advises Paulus Kirchhof, a professor at Clinical Research Fellowship in Birmingham. While faulty genes are still being researched, it seems that the PITX2 gene affects the development of the embryo and exposes them to AFib. These structural changes in the human body may become evident in their 20s or much earlier than that. 

In other cases, individuals who are living with one or more of these health problems are at high risk of developing AFib as well.

The longer the problems remain untreated, the bigger the odds of experiencing an episode. 

Q: Can You Get AFib at Any Age?

A: According to Rekha Mankad, M.D, an expert cardiologist, anyone can develop AFib, no matter the age.

Children, seniors, adults, and young adults can all experience this form of tachycardia.

But, when it does happen to younger individuals, it is usually the result of underlying heart disease.

Anything from acute coronary syndrome to valve issues can increase the odds of AFib. 

Q: How Can I Prevent AFib?

A: The good thing is, this health problem can easily be prevented. You just need to know the right tactics. The three main methods are:

  • Exercises
  • Healthy Foods
  • Less sugar, salt & unhealthy fats

Exercises

Unfortunately, only a third of adults do enough exercise throughout the week.

But, with any moderate activity, you can reduce your blood pressure and control the weight.

These are all major contributors to boosting your body’s natural defenses against AFib. 

So, try to move around more often to get the blood flowing, strengthen the muscles, and keep the heart health in tip-top shape. This can be an excellent tactic for reversing AFib as well. 

  • How Much Should I Exercise?

It’s best to dedicate 150min a week to physical activities. That’s around 20 min a day, advises John D. Day, MD, a clinical researcher at Intermountain Heart Medical Center. 

He recommends max 10,000 steps daily or 6,000 steps on average. They can be measured with a pedometer. This type of activity can balance out blood pressure and significantly boost cardiovascular health. 

Healthy Foods

There are countless foods packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

If you want to prevent AFib, it’s best to stay away from processed meals.

Anything that is in a can, packaged, or pre-made, is not a good choice. 

These foods contain a range of additives and preservatives, which can affect your blood pressure. Plus, they leave a massive impact on the immune system and fat cells. The longer you consume unhealthy foods, the higher the chances of obesity. 

Remember, excess weight is a major contributor to heart complications, including AFib. It’s best to stay away from unhealthy and packaged goods and opt for fresh produce instead. 

Less Sugar, Salt & Unhealthy Fats

Some whole wheat foods contain over 500mg of salt and 12g of sugar. That’s way over the recommended daily amount. These kinds of ingredients can be very addictive. The problem is that they can also elevate blood pressure and result in a metabolic condition. 

As a result, you should monitor your salt and sugar intake. If you want to consume a more efficient diet, choose healthy fats instead of the unhealthy ones. Poultry, fish, beans, grains, and nuts are a perfect choice. With options such as these, you can prevent dementia, diabetes, AFib, and prolong your life. 

Final Thoughts

With the constant increase in AFib cases, it’s essential that people practice the right measures to prevent it. While it can be easily confused with other heart complications, people can recognize the quickened heart rate and do their best to keep it under control. With the tactics listed here, you can get ahead of this taxing health problem. Not only can they help you prevent it, but they are a great option for reversing AFib as well. An easy and effective way how to follow your heart condition while taking into account these tips is electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring with help of modern devices. ECG devices and related apps let you monitor your heart on your own and follow heart trends to recognize problems and act to prevent them before it is too late.

Did you find this information helpful? Have you implemented any of these strategies in your daily routine? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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