Hidden heart rhythm problem may underlie some strokes

Brain attacks tied to undiagnosed atrial fibrillation in two clinical studies

5:00pm, June 25, 2014

Monitoring stroke patients’ heartbeats after they leave the hospital reveals that some have atrial fibrillation that was previously undetected, two studies find. Atrial fibrillation, a heartbeat that’s occasionally out of rhythm, is itself a risk factor for stroke, but some people don’t know they have it. Researchers now report that electronic monitors attached to or under the skin can spot the irregularity in people who have had strokes with no apparent trigger, suggesting that this kind of tracking might need to become a standard part of such patients’ care.

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