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How Can Atrial Fibrillation Be Prevented?

Following a healthy lifestyle and taking steps to lower your risk for heart disease may help you prevent atrial fibrillation (AF). These steps include:

  • Following a heart healthy diet that's low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. A healthy diet includes a variety of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables daily.
  • Not smoking.
  • Being physically active.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.

If you already have heart disease or other AF risk factors, work with your doctor to manage your condition. In addition to adopting the healthy habits above, which can help control heart disease, your doctor may advise you to:  

  • Follow the DASH eating plan to help lower your blood pressure.
  • Keep your cholesterol and triglycerides at healthy levels with dietary changes and medicines (if prescribed).
  • Limit or avoid alcohol.
  • Control your blood sugar level if you have diabetes.
  • Get ongoing medical care and take your medicines as prescribed.

For more information about following a healthy lifestyle, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Aim for a Healthy Weight Web site, "Your Guide to a Healthy Heart," "Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH," and "Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart."

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July 1, 2011