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 January 29, 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 January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) A grassroots effort is underway in several US cities to encourage more black women to breastfeed their babies by teaching them the benefits of the age-old practice, which is sometimes shunned in African-American communities. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Harvard researchers found that girls who consumed more than 1.5 sugary drinks a day had their first period earlier than those who drank less. Video provided by Newsy
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