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MY situation with A Fib, family history below. your help will be appreciated

By February 8, 2010 - 5:37pm
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I suffered with A. Fib since I was 19 yrs old ( now 62) but because it woud not show up at will, I could not get a diagnosis. At 61 yrs old, I let it go on for a weekbefore I then went to urgent care while A Fib was happening, the Dr I saw at the urgent care center called fire rescue & had me taken to the hosp, where suddenly my condition became important. All those years I was told that everyone has a irregular heartbeat at one time or another, nothing to worry about, live with it. So, when it happened everyday for years, I ignored it, would try to rest to get it to go away, use breathing excerises to try to interupt it, etc.

My mother, sister & 3 daughters have it also but I am the only one that has a actual diagnosis. Is this inherited? My family is going thru what I did for years, & told " we have to actually see it on a ekg or hear it with a stethascope". How can I help my family deal with this & get a diagnosis? 2 of my daughters 36 & 39 & my sister(54 yrs old) have thick blood platlets, have had blood clots in the past. Any suggestions?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi clausch4 - Thank you for writing, and for seeking more information about atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heart rhythm in the United States. In addition to cardiac risks, atrial fibrillation also increases the risk for stroke, and it's important to have as much information as possible to help understand and manage this condition.

The American Heart Association provides basic information here:


The Cleavland Clinic provides more extensive information, including data on several diagnostic tests, here:


A family history of heart disease can increase risk, but is not necessarily an indicator that a family member will get heart disease. Dr. Iva Smolens explains in the following video:

As far as your family members not being able to get a diagnosis, can you provide some additional information that will help us in responding? Are they being treated by family physicians or have they been seen by cardiac specialists? Have their doctors refused to do tests? Are they dealing with health insurance restrictions?

We look forward to hearing more from you.
Take care, Pat

February 8, 2010 - 6:55pm
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