It is no secret that atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm, and stroke go hand in hand - the former increasing the latter by nearly five times.
Atrial fibrillation, whose prevalence continues to rise, was described last year as the "new epidemic" in cardiovascular disease, even though AF can be successfully controlled by the detection and management of risk factors, by rhythm control treatments, and by the use of antithrombotic therapies.
Furthermore, treating high blood pressure also helps to prevent stroke.
The highest attributable effect of individual risk factors was 35% from hypertension, 26.5% for waist-to-hip ratio, and 19% for current smoking.
These heart conditions are modifiable in that they can be prevented and risk for occurrence decreased.
The take away: Exercise, eat right, don't smoke - what is this 1952? - and consume everything in moderation.
Read the full article to find out if medicine is leaning towards aspirin or anticoagulant medications for preventing stroke.