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Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke: Important Information to Know

Published on Apr 09, 2019
Medically reviewed by George H. Sands, MD, FAAN, FAHA

Download here: Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke: Important Information to Know

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common type of irregular heartbeat (or arrhythmia) in the US, affecting an estimated 2.7 million to 6.1 million people. When a person has AFib, his or her heart can beat too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular rhythm. When this happens, blood doesn’t flow the way it should from the upper chambers of the heart (called the atria) to the lower chambers (called the ventricles). This increases a person’s risk for having a stroke.

Learn more about AFib and the risk of stroke below, then talk with your healthcare provider to learn more about what you can do to help manage it.


George H. Sands, MD, FAAN, FAHA is a Senior Medical Director in U.S. Medical Affairs for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases at Pfizer.


  • 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Atrial Fibrillation Fact Sheet. Accessed March 4, 2019.
  • 2. National Institute of Health. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Information Page. Accessed March 4, 2019.
  • 3. Wolf PA, Abbott RD, Kannel WB. Atrial fibrillation as an independent risk factor for stroke: the Framingham Study. Stroke. 1991;22(8):983-988.
  • 4. National Stroke Association. Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) and Stroke. Accessed March 19, 2019.
  • 5. American Heart Association. Who is at Risk for Atrial Fibrillation (AF or AFib)? Accessed March 5, 2019.
  • 6. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Atrial Fibrillation. Accessed March 5, 2019.
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