About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

African-American Women at Higher Risk of Heart Attack from Atrial Fibrillation Than White Men

by Bidita Debnath on November 5, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Font : A-A+

 African-American Women at Higher Risk of Heart Attack from Atrial Fibrillation Than White Men

For years, doctors have known that atrial fibrillation (AF), or irregular heartbeat, increases the risk for stroke.

But now researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have shown that it also increases the risk for heart attack. In fact, for women and African Americans, it more than doubles the risk.


The study is published in the Nov. 4 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Approximately three million people in the United States have AF and that number is expected to double in the next couple of decades, according to Elsayed Z. Soliman, M.D., director of the Epidemiological Cardiology Research Center (EPICARE) at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study. Patients with AF have three to five times the risk of stroke and double the risk of mortality compared to those without AF.

"AF is a disease of aging and it is common, costly and has lots of complications," Soliman said. "Our study showed that patients with AF, especially women and African-Americans, are at an increased risk of heart attack compared to those without AF."

The prospective study included 23,928 participants without coronary heart disease from Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS), a large biracial population-based cohort study. The participants were enrolled between 2003 and 2007 and were followed through December 2009.

In the study, the overall increase in risk of heart attack in those with AF, compared to those without AF, was about 70 percent, even after taking into account other cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, body mass index and history of stroke and vascular disease. That risk was more than double in women and African Americans, but less than 50 percent for men and whites, Soliman said.

These findings add to the growing concerns of the seriousness of AF as a public health burden.

"Traditionally, blood thinners are used to manage AF complications such as stroke, but now there is another dimension to the problem. We need to determine the best strategy to prevent heart attack in AF patients while still dealing with potential stroke risk," Soliman said. "In our study, individuals taking blood thinners were at lower risk for heart attack from AF, suggesting a potential role for blood thinners in prevention of heart attacks in AF patients."

Funding for the REGARDS study was provided by a cooperative agreement U01NS041588 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Additional funding was provided by R01HL080477 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Co-authors include Farah Dawood, M.D., and David Herrington, M.D., Wake Forest Baptist; Monika Safford, M.D., Paul Muntner, Ph.D., Yulia Khodneva, M.D., Ph.D., Evan Thacker, Ph.D., Virginia Howard, Ph.D., George Howard, Dr.PH., and Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham; Neil Zakai, M.D., and Mary Cushman, M.D., University of Vermont.

Source: Newswise

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Chest Pain Palpitations And Arrhythmias Cardiac Catheterization Heart Attack Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Stress and the Gender Divide Heart Attack Facts Heart Heart Attack- Lifestyle Risks 

Recommended Reading
Pediatric Atrial Fibrillation Has High Recurrence Rates
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common chronic arrhythmia in adults, but is rare in children. ....
Research Finds That Women With Atrial Fibrillation Under-treated by GPs
Women with atrial fibrillation (AF) under-treated by general practitioners (GPs), finds new ......
Mass Screening Identifies Untreated Atrial Fibrillation in 75-76 Year Olds
The second cause of death worldwide is stroke. Atrial fibrillation is the most common clinically ......
Association Between Fish Consumption and Atrial Fibrillation Reveals U-shaped Curve
According to an observational study moderation seems to be key when it comes to eating fish to ......
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is a radiological procedure for both diagnosis and treatment of heart condit...
Chest Pain
Ask any one who has experienced intense chest pain and they will vouch for the fact that it was the ...
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or heart bypass surgery is an open heart surgery to relieve t...
Heart Attack
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Heart disease is the lead...
Heart Attack- Lifestyle risks
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Simple guidelines to avoi...
Palpitations And Arrhythmias
Palpitations are unpleasant sensation of one’s own heartbeat....
Stress and the Gender Divide
Stress has become entwined in the current lifestyle of a young working couple and has resulted in th...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use