Introduction: I am a 68 year old man... - AF Association

AF Association
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I am a 68 year old man diagnosed with AF in February 2018. I dont have any real symptoms and the AF only picked up after I had ECG at GP’s surgery following ‘Irregular Heartbeat’ being highlighted on my home Blood Pressure Monitor.

I have seen Cardiologist a few times and now on Propranolol and Ramipril but I am concerned that the Health ‘Professionals’ are not recommending any further action such as Cardioversion or Ablation.

I never have rapid heartbeat just persistently shows up as irregular. Any thoughts or advice very welcome.

10 Replies

Generally, if your heart rate is between 60 and 100 bpm this is considered to be within normal limits. It sounds as if you have persistent AF and literally 1000’s of people manage to live relatively normal lives without intervention. It may be that your cardiologist is reluctant to try a CV because it may work for a while but possibly then cause you to have paroxysmal AF (comes and goes without warning) which many find more difficult to live with. I suggest that you discuss their reasoning as they may have other reasons for maintaining the status quo.

You have not mentioned anticoagulation. If you are not taking an anticoagulant then this should be discussed with your doctor urgently because given your age and possible high blood pressure, you may have a potential stroke risk which should be managed....


Welcome to your world.

First and most important thing is that your must be anticoagulated for stroke prevention. Please discuss this with your doctor as soon as possible.

The second point to make in response to your second paragraph is that any and all treatment for AF is only ever about improving quality of life (QOL) As somebody who was unaware of their condition this obviously means little difference and people like yourself are often envied by those with paroxysmal AF where the onset of an event can be so traumatic. Provided that your heart rate is controlled within reason (see FJ's comment about heart rate) then there is no benefit from any other treatment such as ablation if your QOL would be unchanged. The risk benefit equation would not balance.

Huge thanks for your prompt replies. I apologise but should have included Riveroxaban to the prescribed drug list.

That’s OK then!!....😄

I was diagnosed with AF ten years ago after a lone attack and have been treated with flecainide ever since to regulate heartbeat. I've never been offered or even needed an ablation and have just learnt to live with it. Unfortunately have to put up with ectopics more and more now try to stay calm, avoid alcohol and caffeine (not completely cut out) and eat sensibly in moderation. Compared to others on this site I feel grateful the my symptoms and treatment are mild. 😀

in reply to Angie06

Hi Angie, I would look, with an Alternative Practitioner's advice, at taking Co Q10 supplement 200mgs/day to see if it reduces those ectopics; very little if any downside risk, might be worth a go.

Ooh, I wish. If my AF didn't go into very high rates I, like you, would not have become aware of it until something revealed it by accident. For all I know, I had been having sessions of AF long before I ended up in A&E with heart rate over 280. Since I've been on bisoprolol (and of course the anticoagulant apixaban), and also learned on this forum some of the ins and outs of AF, it's not been so bad, but still above 170 while resting which is debilitating enough. If it were not so bad, I'd be very happy to just live with it. As it is, I'm constantly changing my mind whether to go though with an ablation when I reach the top of the waiting list.

If I were you (but I'm NOT!), I would just get on with life and hope it stays at the quality of life you have. Enjoy it while you can! Just my 2p.

I have AF like you I am not aware of it unless I pick it up on my BP monitor. It has developed over time and now manifests itself as severe breathlessness . I am off for a Holter monitor tomorrow which I don't think will show a high heart rate. If it doesn't he will ablate me. It has taken 3yrs to get to this point. I have spent 11months with various test on my heart and lungs but they all came back clear. The EP thinks this breathless is due to the irregularity not high HR, causing my heart not to pump properly. So yes I do know where you are coming from. Keep pushing them as I have otherwise you will be sidelined as not urgent.

Good luck!

Dear Penparc,

I’ve had chronic AF for over 30 years and I take Verapamil for rate and Eliquis to lower stroke risk. I do lots of walking (5,000 miles over past 4 years) and I never know when I’m in AF or normal sinus rhythm. I stay away from all rhythm drugs and I have no plans for ablation or cardioversion. I believe the drug companies have been promoting and advertising AF so much that they’ve really scared all of us. My personal experience (for over 30 years) is that AF simply isn’t nearly as dangerous as all of the advertising (and the pressure on our doctors) indicates. I’m sending good thoughts your way.❤️

I am 74 year old female diagnosed in September last year, rather dramatically, after I had been at a spa and experienced extremes of temperature! We bought one of those blood pressure machines as it was recommended for indicating irregular heart beat by a friend who had also been recently diagnosed. Later we were told that they are not very reliable on the irregularities and told to get a Kardia (which meant getting a far "smarter" phone too to use it with) which are supposed to give more accurate readings of AF. it has been my experience so far (the blood pressure machine never gives very high heartbeat readings when they are irregular) but now I am losing confidence in the Kardia too as it gave me a reading of AF this morning when my pulse was quite regular and when I did it again, the Kardia agreed with me that my heart was behaving fine! I must find out what the drugs you are on are as I haven't come across them but I try to avoid medication unless really necessary. I also find it good to take one's own pulse initially. Good luck and try not to worry as we all do. Things may improve with the cooler weather.

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