Diabetes and AFib: How do they Relate?

AFib is more common in people with diabetes. Although it is not known if diabetes directly causes AFib, there are significant risk factors. Both can have a negative impact on your health.

Studies have found that both type 1 and type 2 diabetes likely raise your risk of developing AFib, though the link seems to be greater if you have type 2.

At least one study found that men with type 1 diabetes have a slightly higher than average risk of developing AFib, but females with type 1 are at greater risk with 50% higher chances.

Research shows that type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to AFib. One analysis of several earlier studies found that people with type 2 diabetes are about 40% more likely to develop AFib. Some studies have suggested the increased risk might be even greater.

Experts do not believe it is a coincidence. AFib risks may be increased by diabetes.

Many types of heart diseases are linked to diabetes. Even if AFib is not present, diabetes can increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke twice as often as those who do not have it.

There are many risk factors that can lead to AFib, including diabetes. This includes obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Diabetes can cause physical problems in your body, which could lead to AFib. You may experience wide-ranging swings in blood sugar and blood vessel inflammation. These fluctuations can cause scarring or electrical changes that may lead to AFib.

Type 2 diabetes can also lead to an increase in fat levels in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart. This could interfere with signals that enable cells to communicate. This problem could also be caused by insulin resistance, which refers to the inability of your body to properly use insulin.

Why is AFib+ Diabetes Dangerous?

The risk of AFib, which can cause heart attack, stroke and blood clots is high, alone, is very dangerous. AFib sufferers are up to four- to six times more likely to experience a stroke than those without it.

You are at greater risk for heart attacks and strokes if you have diabetes. You are more likely to have AFib and diabetes together.

AFib can be difficult to detect if you aren't feeling symptoms. The possibility exists that some individuals with diabetes may have AFib, but they have not been diagnosed.

What can you do to improve your health if you have AFib or Diabetes?

Make sure you follow all instructions. Your doctor may have prescribed medications to manage your AFib. They may have prescribed a blood thinner to decrease the possibility of clots, and a blood pressure medication to lower your heart rate.

It's possible to get metformin, or another glucose-lowering drug, if you have type 2 diabetes. Early research has shown that metformin may have the ability to stabilize irregular heart beats. A study also showed that AFib is less common among people with diabetes who have taken metformin and other diabetes drugs in the TZD classes.

You should keep an eye on your sugar levels. It's the most serious form of diabetes if it isn’t managed well. Studies have shown that those suffering from type 2 diabetes with good control of blood sugar have an increased chance of getting AFib. However, people who are not in control of their glucose levels may be at higher risk.

Another study has revealed that AFib sufferers need to keep their blood sugar under control. One study found that people who had AFib as well as type 2 diabetes for 10 years or less were less likely to have a blood clot (including the kind that could block blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke) if their A1c levels were 6.5% or lower, compared with those with higher A1c levels.

Engage in plenty of activity. A recent study found that people with diabetes who regularly did moderate to vigorous exercise were less likely to develop AFib. The same study also found that nonsmokers and those who drank only a little alcohol were less likely to develop Afib than were smokers and those who drank more alcohol.

Be healthy. A study has shown that being overweight can increase your chance of developing AFib by up to 50%. AFib patients who already have obesity may experience a decrease in severity if they lose just 10% of their body weight. Type 2 diabetes is also linked to obesity.