Managing Atrial Fibrillation With Lifestyle Changes Dr. Christine Albert



Thought we could start by discussing some of your major contributions to the management of atrial fibrillation even since my medical school days. It seems like the emphasis. On lifestyle management for diseases such as atrial fibrillation has increased exponentially as we learn more about arrhythmia mechanisms and now we specifically screen patients for sleep apnea diet alcohol use et cetera. So from all of the landmark clinical research that you've conducted over your career. That's far could you. Maybe summarize for us. What you feel are the biggest takeaways whether in eighth hundred prevention or in any of your other areas that sudden cardiac death. Thank you when i started doing. Research on the epidemiology of heart rhythm disorders really wasn't an emphasis as you say on. Risk factors for h. fibrillation or sudden cardiac death. And then you know a group of us not just myself but amelia benjamin in the premium study and patrick eleanor. We all started to get interested in looking at atrial fibrillation as you would cardiovascular disease and some of the major findings are really related to lifestyle and how it can impact each relation including body mass index. And wait and wait reduction. We've done several studies. One who first authors tetreault who's also electro physiologist at brigham women's hospital and she published a very important study in jack. Where we showed in bunks women. Even being slightly overweight had elevated to risk of fibrillation. And then if you lost weight you lower that risk. And in addition some of the other research we did was around. Exercise and showing that exercise is beneficial to atrial fibrillation. But as we all know too much. Exercise can actually have an adverse effect and this again was a study that was done by tony acer who was also an electro physiologist and his now at nyu worked with me for a while. So both of those manuscripts were very important. With regards management of atrial fibrillation. In addition we also published one of the first studies looking at alcohol intake and h fibrillation. Now there have been multiple multiple studies showing that alcohol is related to atrial fibrillation. And as you know a randomized trial now that shows that if you abstained from alcohol you lower your risk of atrial fibrillation so all of these studies are not just by myself but multiple. Investigators have really changed the practice where we as clinicians think about lowering. Risk factors as electra physiologists event and approach sanders. Work in australia really took it to another level by actually doing clinical trial in showing that reduction of weight and modifying risk factors lowers incidence of atrial fibrillation. So now it's really one of our pillars of treatment and it is rewarding to see something go from observational research to clinical trials in actually to

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