COPING WITH AN Irregular heartbeat
Woman's Weekly Living Series|July 2020
COPING WITH AN Irregular heartbeat
Spotting and dealing with atrial fibrillation cuts our risk of stroke, says Dr Melanie Wynne-Jones

The right and left atria are the two smaller heart chambers, and receive blood from the lungs and body. Their muscular walls contract in response to electrical instructions from the heart’s natural pacemaker, squirting blood into the ventricles, which then also contract, sending fresh blood to the body, and producing a regular heartbeat – 60-100 times a minute.

But in atrial fibrillation (AF), the muscles contract rapidly and haphazardly producing irregular heartbeats, often over 150 beats a minute. This can double your risk of premature death, and lead to strokes. It affects over a million people in the UK.

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July 2020