British Heart Foundation
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Heart Failure and Atrial fibrillation

I was diagnosed with Heart Failure with a fibrillation last year. The Person that was going to do my Cardio-version told me I have 3-5 years life expectancy at 45 that was a shock. They couldn't proceed as I had a temperature of 102 and felt extremely unwell. This spoilt my Christmas not just for me but my whole family. I've never been a small person and I am carrying excess timber, but I have taken heed and lost 9 KG so far. I am on lots of drugs and manage to walk 5 miles a day. I have no swelling in my legs or body and generally feel ok except I do get out of breath. I just wanted to ask if anyone has received a similar diagnoses, or any advise they can give me.

Thank you in advance.


2 Replies

Hi Simon, that can't have been easy to hear, for you or your family. Sorry you've had to deal with that. I don't think anybody on this forum would be able to confirm or deny that prediction, as heart failure varies so much in its severity and follows different paths for different people. I know my consultant has always been reluctant to quantify life expectancy for me (I have heart failure too) as he doesn't seem to think it's something he could predict and he basically takes the approach that stable is good, but we don't know how long that stability will last. Certainly the positive changes you're making to your lifestyle can only be a good thing (well done for that) and it is still fairly early days for you since diagnosis. It took a few years for me to get a good balance of medications and lifestyle choices. Six years in, I'm feeling much better now than I did in the first year or two following diagnosis.

Sometimes certain health professionals you briefly cross paths with do make sweeping statements/generalisations that don't apply to your particular case or are not accurate. If the 3-5 years figure is something you are dwelling on and worrying about, I would speak to your doctor/cardiologist about it and ask for further details and, if it is accurate, get them to tell you what they are basing this on in your particular case. A small amount of scary information is usually much more scary than the full picture.

Lots of luck going forward x


Thank you Laura, I saw a Doctor for the first time yesterday, the information I received from him could have been sent in a letter or email. He did say if the cardio-version fails they can perform a procedure where they go in through a vein and do something to the heart. I can appreciate its going to be a long hall. But the drugs I'm on help me to walk the 5 miles a day. Without them I would be struggling. Thank you again for replying, your answer was helpful x


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