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Heart -General


What is arterial fibrillation? What causes it?When should it be treated?Why are women treated differently then men when presenting with symptoms of a heart attack? And Why are women more often then men brushed off or diagnosed as having an anxiety attack? Furthermore, why are women
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239757 tn?1213813182

those are a lot of difficult questions, some are very important and not with great answers.

What is arterial fibrillation?

There are 2 chambers of the heart and 2 sides of the heart.  The upper chambers of the heart are called the atria and pump blood to the lower chambers the ventricles.  The electricity in the heart causes the atria to beat slightly before the ventricles.  Sometimes this wiring goes awry and instead of a single electical impulse causing the atrium to beat in unison there is a chaotic electrical signal which causes the atria to fibrillate.  Blood then just flows through the atrium without the assisatnce of the atrial beat to help fill the ventricles.  

What causes it?

A lot of different things.  Stress, genes, structural changes to the atria from hypertension and valve problems, and other factors yet to be determined.

When should it be treated?

This is a difficult question.  Treatment evaluation should always be considered.  The treatment options involve 3 main categories  
1) Cardioversion vs. Medical therapy,  2) Maintenance of sinus rhythm with medicines vs ablation and 3) anticoagulation for stroke prevention.  The most category that should always be addressed even in asymptomatic patients is the last one.  The others depend on symptoms and comorbidities.

Why are women treated differently then men when presenting with symptoms of a heart attack? Why are women more often then men brushed off or diagnosed as having an anxiety attack?

Until recently is wasnt as well recognized that women often present with symptoms different from men.  Some of this has to do with the fact that a lot of the original trials contained a larger majority of men thus skewing what was reported for symptoms and demographics of what was considered normal.  Hopefully, the recent awareness programs like the AHA/ACC Red Dress compaign will increase physician awareness of this fact.

Furthermore, why are women
Avatar universal
Because its a "Man's world".  JUST KIDDING!!  :) :)
Avatar universal
Just couldn't resist, could you?   LOL
Avatar universal
:) :) :) :) :) :) : )
Avatar universal
bkj or anyone who wants to answer,

Does severity, frequency, or cause of the arterial fibrillation impact treatment option in anyway, if so how? Also, is anticoagulant therapy indicated in all individuals who have  Arterial fibrillation? Can beta-blockers control heart rate enough to prevent symptoms?


Avatar universal
I am assuming your a nurse.  Omg isnt the drs advice enough.  You are not speaking from experience and trying to sound like the dr yourself.  Gag me.
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