The Factor That Can Stop Your Heart

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on November 14, 2011 · 0 comments

Extra weight may raise your risk for atrial fibrillation. With this condition the small upper chambers of the heart (the atria) quiver instead of beating regularly. This may result in blood that isn’t fully pumped out of the heart. It can clot and that clot could lodge in an artery in the brain, causing a stroke. Fifteen percent of all strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation.

Overweight women have a 22% greater chance of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, while obese women are 65% more likely to have the condition. For overweight women who lose weight, their risk of atrial fibrillation becomes the same as the risk for normal weight women.

Interestingly, researchers found that caffeine, often considered a culprit for this condition, did not increase risk, even for those that got 650 milligrams a day (equaling 32 ounces of regular coffee).

Bottom line: To reduce your risk of atrial fibrillation you can enjoy your coffee but try to keep your weight down.

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