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When Your Heart Rhythm is Off

This information has been reviewed and approved by Raphael Sung, MD (June 2023).

When Your Heart Rhythm is Off

AFIB, or atrial fibrillation, is a common type of irregular rhythm of the heart.

AFIB may lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, early death and other serious complications.


  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Heart palpitations (fluttering or thumping in the chest)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • New or worsening fatigue
  • Feeling like “getting old” over a short period of time
  • New or worsening activity intolerance


  • AFIB affects both men and women
  • 1 in 5 ischemic strokes are due to AFIB
  • AFIB increases the risk of stroke by 5 times
  • Women with AFIB are more likely to have a stroke than men

If you have AFIB symptoms, see your doctor.

A heart rhythm specialist can determine if you have atrial fibrillation and what treatment is necessary.

More Information on Heart Health


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