I didn’t like that the only thing I could offer my patients who failed ablation or medication was…more ablation and medication. Imagine how exciting it was when I learned there is a treatment strategy for Afib that is incredibly effective.
Standard Afib treatments and their effectiveness
If you’re frustrated with Afib, you’re not alone. There is an epidemic of Afib, with experts predicting things will get much worse with the number of people with Afib doubling in the coming years.
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In this study, even those who have already had an Afib ablation were over five times more likely to avoid further Afib if they treated their causes of Afib. A big problem with Afib is our standard treatments aren’t great. In one of the most extensive clinical trials of Afib ablation compared to medication, the chances of success with ablation were 48% in 4 years. For medications, it was 29%. And this study was done in the leading institutions in the world. It’s likely even worse elsewhere.
The study’s conclusion was ablation is better than medications for the treatment of Afib. But I think we could all say the real conclusion is neither treatment is particularly good.
Hi, I’m Dr. Hurst.
I’m a cardiologist who spent over 20 years at the Mayo Clinic. Like you, I was frustrated with Afib and the lack of effective treatments to help my patients. I didn’t like that the only thing I could offer my patients who failed ablation or medication was…more ablation and medication.
I felt like I was failing my patients.
They were coming to me to get healthier - to get rid of their Afib - and I didn’t have the tools to help them. Imagine how exciting it was when I learned there is a treatment strategy for Afib that is incredibly effective. And unlike Afib ablation with a 48% success rate and medications with a 29% success rate, this treatment was shown in one study to be 94% effective.
This is over eleven times more effective than Afib ablation and medications alone.
Treat the cause of Afib
So, what is this remarkable “new” treatment for Afib? Looking back, it should have been obvious to me. As a physician, we are trained to look for root causes that can be treated. For example, we don’t treat someone with fever from pneumonia with just Tylenol®. We treat the cause of the fever with antibiotics. But for some reason, in Afib, our typical therapies don’t treat the causes of Afib.
Most often, ablation and medications treat the symptoms of Afib. But they don’t treat the causes.
The result is not surprising. Our treatments fail more often than not. The best treatment for Afib It probably makes sense to you that the best treatment for Afib is going to include treating the causes. And that’s precisely what the research tells us.
When people can…
- Be physically active
- Get their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars better
- Treat their sleep apnea
- Make sure their thyroid is normal
- Avoid tobacco and excess alcohol
- Lose weight if needed
…the results are remarkable.
In another study, even those who have already had an Afib ablation were over five times more likely to avoid further Afib if they treated their causes of Afib.
Doctors call this “risk factor modification.” We call it increasing your Healthspan.
We call it this because these same factors are also the most powerful in determining the length of time you get to live a life you love. As a physician, it’s very gratifying to me to have the tools that give people the best treatment for their Afib while at the same time lowering their risk for heart attacks, strokes, dementia, and early death. Afib ablations and medications (particularly lifesaving blood thinner medications to prevent stroke in those who are at high risk) have their place in the treatment of Afib.
But if you want to get the best treatment for your Afib, you must treat the causes. In other words, you must increase your Healthspan.