Diabetes and AFib

Thursday, July 1st, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

The American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) wants older adult health-fitness professionals to have a working knowledge of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a serious and increasingly prevalent heart rhythm disturbance that may affect aging physical activity participants. New research shedding light on the relationship between AFib and diabetes will be described below.

SFA president Janie Clark, M.A., is the senior fitness expert on the AFib Support Team organized by sanofi-aventis U.S. (which is an affiliate of sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company). Clark serves along with a cardiologist specializing in heart rhythm disorders, a cardiovascular nurse, and a lifestyle gerontologist. Educational resources have been developed by the AFib Support Team to assist persons affected by atrial fibrillation and are available online at www.afibsupportteam.com.

Recently AFib Support Team members were interviewed for an article published by EP Lab Digest (10:3; "Introducing the AFib Support Team"), a periodical that provides product, news and clinical updates for the electrophysiology professional. Clark’s quotes in the article include: "In my experience, it has always been possible to find a safe, beneficial and enjoyable form of physical activity for everyone of any age, including AFib patients." She counsels such patients to "… follow the advice provided by one’s medical team, insist on individualization, and pursue activities that are well-tolerated." To read the entire article, click here.

Regarding the link between diabetes and atrial fibrillation, a new study has found that people with diabetes are at increased risk for AFib. Writing in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, online, scientists from the Group Health Research Institute of Seattle, Washington, reported their analysis of data involving 1,410 persons with newly-recognized atrial fibrillation and 2,203 persons without AFib. They concluded that diabetes is associated with a higher risk for developing atrial fibrillation, and that risk is higher with longer duration of treated diabetes and with worse glycemic (blood sugar) control. To read the abstract of this study, click here.


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