Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Atrial arrhythmias detected by pacemakers increase risk of stroke

Date:
January 11, 2012
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
Silent atrial fibrillation is very common and may be the cause of many strokes that previously could not be explained. In all, atrial fibrillation may be responsible for nearly one in five strokes.

An irregular heartbeat that you don't even feel but can be picked up by a pacemaker is associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke, says a new McMaster University study.

Related Articles


The report, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, says that of nearly 2,600 patients without a history of atrial fibrillation but with a recently implanted pacemaker, more than one-third had episodes when the heartbeat would become rapid and irregular for more than six minutes.

In 85 per cent of these patients, the irregular heartbeat did not cause any symptoms and was only detected by the modern pacemakers. Those who had one of these asymptomatic atrial arrhythmias in the first three months had more than twice the risk of stroke or embolism compared to others.

The international research team based at the Population Health Research Institute was led by Dr. Jeff Healey, an associate professor of medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster.

"This study suggests that silent atrial fibrillation is very common and may be the cause of many strokes that previously could not be explained. In all, atrial fibrillation may be responsible for nearly 1 in 5 strokes," said Healey. "This is an important observation as we have very effective and specific therapies to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, once this heart rhythm disturbance is identified."

The Asymptomatic Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation Evaluation in Pacemaker Patients Trial (ASSERT) was a prospective cohort study conducted in 23 countries with 136 centres, to explore the relationship between device-detected atrial arrhythmias and stroke. The study participants were 65 years old or older, with a history of hypertension but no history of atrial fibrillation. They were followed for approximately 2.5 years.

The study was sponsored by St. Jude's Medical Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jeff S. Healey, Stuart J. Connolly, Michael R. Gold, Carsten W. Israel, Isabelle C. Van Gelder, Alessandro Capucci, C.P. Lau, Eric Fain, Sean Yang, Christophe Bailleul, Carlos A. Morillo, Mark Carlson, Ellison Themeles, Elizabeth S. Kaufman, Stefan H. Hohnloser. Subclinical Atrial Fibrillation and the Risk of Stroke. New England Journal of Medicine, 2012; 366 (2): 120 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1105575

Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Atrial arrhythmias detected by pacemakers increase risk of stroke." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111223350.htm>.
McMaster University. (2012, January 11). Atrial arrhythmias detected by pacemakers increase risk of stroke. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111223350.htm
McMaster University. "Atrial arrhythmias detected by pacemakers increase risk of stroke." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111223350.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins