Listen to Dr. deGuzman talk about the functions of the left atrial in the heart.
The leading cause of stroke for women is actually atrial fibrillation. So that is the leading cause of stroke overall and particularly in women. They do actually, the mortality rate for patients that have atrial fibrillation versus their counterparts who do not in the general population can be as high as 30% more over a three-year period. So it increases your risk for mortality by anywhere from two-and-a-half to five times, depending on which age group you fall into. The left atrium is one of the receiving chambers of the heart and one of the upper chambers of the heart, so what its function is, is really to receive blood from the lungs. Once it is collected there, the left atrium squeezes that blood through the mitral valve into the ventricle.
So it participates actively in the transport of blood from the receiving chamber from the lungs into the ventricle which then allows that blood to be pumped efficiently up to the rest of the body. So if you lose the pumping ability of the left atrium to force that blood into the left ventricle, you are going to be decreasing the efficiency of the heart significantly, and in most cases if you have atrial fibrillation and lose what we call the atrial kick or the atrium’s ability to transport that blood efficiently into the ventricle, you lose about 30% of the heart’s efficiency. So it can have a significant impact on your heart’s ability to function properly.
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