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AF Association
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AFib better after stroke

I have contributed in the past to the forum, but this post is the first I have started.

I have had paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AFib) at least since the beginning of 2016. I doubt if I would have known, had I not checked my pulse, as there have never been any of the distressing symptoms that I keep reading about on this forum. What I did experience were protracted episodes of burping, and there was an obvious connection with the AFib, in that an irregular pulse tended to accompany the digestion problems.

Attempts to deal with the problem by "natural" means failed, and in November 2017 I had a stroke caused by, or associated with, AFib. Since then I have improved a great deal, and only very minor disability remains. During the last few months I have noticed that my pulse is more consistent, and my cardiologist confirmed that the continuing AFib is less bad. Hence the heading for my post: "AFib better after stroke". At the same time the performance of my digestive system has been much better. I am now on medication, which includes a low dose of statins. My theory is that the statins have reduced the degree of inflammation in my body, with the consequential health improvement mentioned above. I wonder whether taking just statins in the first place might have been sufficient to minimise the inflammation, and even prevent a stroke. Comments are very welcome!

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WEll I have permanent Afib which I was inclined to ignore ....no meds. Then had a TIA and then 'they' found I had a hole in the heart which was 'fixed'.I was given Warfarin(now on Apixaban) and must say I rarely feel I have Afib. The change happened quite soon after the TIA and the fixture of the hole.So maybe a sort of comparison with your situation?

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I presume that you are also now on anticoagulation to prevent further stroke although you do not mention it? Many people only discover that they have AF when the stroke hits them and as you now know there is no natural solution.

Interesting question re statins as many people have stopped taking them due to the side effects and feelings that "pharma" are pushing their use excessively . I agree that inflammation of any kind in the body contributes to AF since many people have improved their quality of life by dietary and life style changes .

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Thank you for your comments. Yes, I am on Apixaban. Also 1.25 mg bisoprolol and 20 mg Atorvastatin.

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Dont know the answer to your question but my GP just twisted my arm to start statins. My cholesterol is high but overall # good. She said here in US cardiologists are learning more about the role statins play in decreasing inflammation. So, I agreed to give it a go. My diet and exercise program has not decreased my #, guess my cholesterol may be hereditary. Im going to keep an open mind about the statin drug.

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Anyone know if doctors are given incentives or money if they put patients on statins?

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Theoretically answer is no here inthe states, it is illegal, but makes one wonder

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I'm wondering about here in the UK.

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I can’t see how statins would reduce stroke from left atrial clot. But they would be expected to reduce other causes of ischaemic stroke. In your situation, I’m not sure why you are taking only a “small dose”of statins. I take Atorvastatin 80 mgs for asymptomatic coronary artery disease. Not aware I have had any side effects. Statins reduce coronary artery disease independent of cholesterol level.

Have you been persuaded to change your mind about AC?

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Thank you for your comments. Yes, I am on Apixaban. Also 1.25 mg bisoprolol and 20 mg Atorvastatin. I think the purpose of the statins is only to keep the cholesterol low (currently around 2.8). I was told that the risk of a blood clot is thereby reduced. I do not think I have any heart disease as such.

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2.8???!!!! Many people would kill for a level that low. Can't be the reason for statins surely.

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I suspect that is using US units rather than UK. Why there is no international standard beats me!

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Bob

The important point is that statins were not prescribed to maintain low cholesterol for its own sake, but because of the belief that a low cholesterol level reduces the tendency for dangerous blood clots to form. There is no direct impact on Afib. I was told that the stroke risk would be reduced by 30%. Obviously this is a ballpark figure.

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News to me.

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Very interesting. Are statins anti inflammatory?

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My personal experience suggests they can be, but I am no expert.

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I have just been put on statins a low dose as a prophylactic. Apparently they are now discovering that statins do do other things in the body. My GP said that they have an effect on the blood vessels and not just lowering cholesterol levels. Having had a TIA last year i’ll try anything to not have another one.

Glad you are recovering from your stroke and your AFib is better.

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I had a stroke in 2014 and hadn’t been prescribed anticoagulants; my GP followed NICE guidelines; I was 61 and the recommendation is 65.

I left hospital with s script for Dabigatran and then I paid to see an EP. He told me that the fact that I’d been statins for 10 years ( for genetically high cholesterol) probably reduced the severity of my stroke/ saved my life.

I’ve never experienced any side effects from Lipitor/Atorvastatin and neither have other people I know who take them; 10 mg each day.

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Many people have severe leg pains when taking statins. You are lucky.

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You are on a very low dose of lipitor! Thats prbably why you have no side effects! They often cause leg weakness as well as cramps and hair loss if you take a larger dose. Lucky you if this low dose is enough.

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There was a study about 15 years ago when Atorvastatin was prescribed to a group and their AF was reduced. It has not been subsequently replicated in other trials. I showed the article to my cardio and we tried a course of Atorvastatin. It had no effect.

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The important point is that statins were prescribed because of the belief that a low cholesterol level reduces the tendency for dangerous blood clots to form. There is no direct impact on Afib. I was told that the stroke risk would be reduced by 30%. Obviously this is a ball-park figure.

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I was put on 40 mg after I threw a clot which completely blocked my coronary artery. My cholerterol levels are good but afib going strong still.

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Very thought-provoking discussion!

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