Mum diagnosed with AF

Hi all. My mum got diagnosed with AF yesterday and told me and my brother. She is 60 this year and has always had high blood pressure. They are going to put her on warfrin (i think thats how you spell it). I have tried to read online about it but it doesnt really explain the risks. Is this a serious condition, should we be worried? I lost my dad when i was 15 and the thought of anything happening to my mum is unthinkable.

8 Replies

  • Hi Rachel

    Welcome to the forum and can I say well done for finding us, and we are here for those supporting people with AF as much as those with the condition.

    OK let's cut to the chase first, A Fib itself is not a fatal condition, as one doctor famously says, it just feels like that at the time.

    The real risk from AF are stroke, which is why your mum has been prescribed warfarin, which acts as an anti-coagulant, and will help to protect her from stroke. It's a relatively easy drug to take and jst some small diet changes and lots of blood tests I regret to say.

    What will happen next is that your Mum should be referred to a specialist, try and get her in front of an Electro Physiologist they are the real specialists here, and she will probably have a load more tests and then jointly decide on a treatment route. Not really going into more detail yet, as you can read all about them on the AFA website.

    Apart from that, fell free to ask loads of questions here, most of us have the condition, and most of us will happily tell you anything you need to know

    Give your Mum a hug from us all and tell her it's going to be OK, she's probably at least as scared as you :)

    Be well


  • my dad has permanent AF, he is 82 and still works full-time. I have paroxysmal (part-time) AF and it can be very symptomatic and alarming especially to start with but with the right treatment many people lead normal lives and most of the rest are fine for most of the time. It is scary but not normally life-threatening. Anticoagulation with warfarin is important . I have started on it myself and it has been no big deal. All the best.

  • Thank you so much for your responses. I cant tell you how much I appreciate it. Kakpo, you mentioned that you and your father have AF. The doctor my mum saw asked her if there was anyone in the family that had thyroid problems or has had Pericarditis. I have had both, do you think there is a hereditary risk?

  • Several members of my family have AF too so you may have it eventually too. I was anxious about starting on warfarin but it has been so easy and it gives you the protective confidence that you need. Your Mum will be greatly supported by your help and concern which is just what she needs right now.

  • Hi Rachel and I agree with Ian on most things. You ask about hereditary risk and there is a suspicion that AF may

    have a genetic family link. One of the problems is that it is only in the last 20 years or so that the condition has been regarded as anything other than a benign nuisance by medics and only due to the hard work of Trudie, Jo and the rest of the gang at AFA that we have the information available which we do. So far much of the progress has been on treatment rather than prevention but recent events such as the alleged discovery of a link with ibuprophen and similar products may herald a sea change in investigative medicine. It really is all very new science ,however, as I keep reminding people so the jury is still out I'm afraid..


  • Hi Rachel, I am 69, diagnosed with AF 12 years ago. I was fit enough to have an 8 hour operation on my spine a few years ago, still as bossy as ever to my family and sometimes look after my very lively grandchildren for weekends. Which leads me to the most important point, your mum is lucky to have a caring daughter to support her. Everyone has a different experience of AF but I'm sure a positive attitude helps us all.

    Best wishes, Julia

  • Hi rachel my name is trevor and I was diagnosed with paf about five years ago.. i was put on beta blockers warferin and statins even though no heart disease or high cholestorol was detected.. i now through my own hard work and research take no medication for the af (I'm not advising anyone to stop medication) i used to get bouts every few weeks and since i made an important discovery it's been 11 months since my last bout!! i always got bouts during the early hours of the morning about 4am.. so for me it seemed logical something was happening in the night to cause this It turned out I had sleep apnea and as soon as i got a cpap machine the bouts have I won't say stopped but at this stage weeks have turned to months.. i advised a friend of mine who was in permanent af after valve replacement to get himself checked He did and guess what his heart now ticks like a clock my real point is leave no stone unturned to find the cause and get it sorted rather than let lazy doctors treat the symptoms (not all doctors are lazy)......

  • Hello Rachel. I've had paroxysmal AFib for seven years and, as far as I know, I'm the only person in my family with the condition.

    The only other thing I wanted to say is that, having been on Warfarin for five of those years, I believe that I'm far safer than I was for the two years when I wasn't taking it. As Beancounter says, stroke is the main risk factor from AFib and taking Warfarin significantly reduces that risk - it may not feel like good news at the moment, but Warfairn doesn't cause serious side effects for most people and, in reality, your mother is better off now than she was before her condition was confirmed.

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