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1 in 6 stroke victims is atrial fibrillation patient

One out of every six people who suffer a stroke is an atrial fibrillation patient, Taipei Veterans General Hospital announced yesterday.

According to Taipei Veterans General Hospital, there are about 200,000 atrial fibrillation patients in Taiwan now, and they are at a higher risk of suffering from a stroke compared to healthy people.

China Medical University's Chief of Cardiology Chang Kuan-cheng said that atrial fibrillation usually leads to irregular heart beats that will cause palpitations and affect heart function.

Chang said that when the operation of heart function is affected, it will create blood clots that can trigger a stroke or systemic thromboembolism once the blood clots travel to the lungs or the blood vessels in the brain.

According to Chang, the symptoms of atrial fibrillation include palpitation, heavy breathing, dizziness and chest tightness, and he suggested that whoever experiences symptoms like these should visit a doctor for a detailed physical examination.

Chang said that atrial fibrillation patients have to take anticoagulant medicine regularly, but some elderly patients often forget to take the medicine or consume double the recommended dose of medicines.

Taiwan Heart Rhythm Society promoted a caring card for atrial fibrillation patients to remind all patients to record their medicine taking history to cultivate the habit of taking medicine regularly.

According to the Taiwan Heart Rhythm Society, patients who own the caring card can also give it to medical personnel before undergoing any surgery so doctors can have a better understanding of what kinds of medicines patients have been taking.

Doctors also suggest atrial fibrillation patients record their heartbeat daily and pay attention to whether or not their heartbeat is regular.

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