Ten Lifestyle Modification Approaches to Treat Atrial Fibrillation

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia affecting three million people in the United States (US). Across different races in the US, the incidence of other races was comparable to that of Caucasian population. This points towards the importance of certain lifestyle modifications that can help prevent and treat this disorder. This article discusses 10 such factors. Smoking has been linked to AF, with almost 36% risk reduction if quit. Hypertension has 56% increased risk of atrial fibrillation in which the role of lifestyle changes is well known. Similarly, alcohol-induced atrial fibrillation has 10% increased risk of atrial fibrillation. On the other hand, several case reports document red bull as the cause of atrial fibrillation. Moreover, the risk of atrial fibrillation is four times higher in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) independent of other confounding variables. Additionally, it has been shown that acute sleep deprivation increases AF risk by 3.36 times. Furthermore, diabetes mellitus and obesity also contribute greatly to atrial fibrillation. This risk has been shown to be around 40% more with diabetes. Diet itself has an impact: numerous studies have shown Mediterranean diet to reduce the risk of AF and cerebrovascular accident in addition to olive oil, fruits and vegetables. Even emotions are important with 85% less AF on ‘happy days’. Needless to mention, yoga has been well demonstrated to have almost 24% reduction in AF. Similarly, physical activity in all forms is beneficial. In summary, lifestyle modifications reduce the incidence of AF, induce more AF remission and also produce successful ablation outcomes.





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Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Fellows and Residents, Cardiology Division

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