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Meds First Line Treatment for AFib

Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer in this country, and one of the most commonly seen cardio conditions is AFib. An irregular heartbeat, it leads to a higher risk of stroke.

“The risks are completely different depending upon a variety of issues including the history of prior stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, vascular disease, age, and gender,” says Lee Memorial Health System cardiologist Dr. Richard Chazal.
With the help of a risk calculator, doctors assess each patient. Much research and development is being aimed towards AFib, but the simple truth is, that one of the most basic, time-tested treatments remains the best first line approach.
“In 2014, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association released guidelines on treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation. In most cases, patients with minimal symptoms are recommended to be treated with control of the heart rate and also anticoagulant blood thinners to reduce the likelihood of having a stroke,” says Dr. Chazal.
At the same time advances are being made in surgical treatments for AFib, R&D is put to use in developing new drugs. These medications are easier to take than in years past. The hope is more people who need them will find drug therapy easier to swallow.

“Their advantage is a reduction in the likelihood of interaction with other medications, a reduction in the likelihood of interaction with certain foods or beverages that could be problematic with warfarin or Coumadin, and importantly, the lack of need for regular blood test to monitor the control of the anticoagulant,” says Dr. Chazal.
A risky condition, your doctors can recommend the right line of treatment for AFib that will reduce the stress on your health.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

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