Predicting Risk of Atrial Fibrillation by Measuring Oxidative Stress

Jennifer Johnson, Emory University

Measuring oxidative stress may help doctors predict the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, the most common heart beat irregularity. Research from Emory University School of Medicine has identified a connection between oxidative stress and enlargement of the heart's left atrium, which leads to atrial fibrillation.

The data was presented on Monday, April 4, by Emory cardiology researcher Nima Ghasemzadeh, MD, at the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans. Working with Arshed Quyyumi, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Emory Cardiovascular Research Institute, Ghasemzadeh followed 629 patients undergoing cardiac catheterization at Emory (average age 63) for three years.

Atrial fibrillation is a risk factor for stroke because it causes ineffective pumping and pooling of blood, which may lead to blood clots in the heart's upper chambers (the atria). The risk of atrial fibrillation increases with age, and three to five percent of people over 65 have atrial fibrillation.

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