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Atrial fibrillation in diabetes

Atrial fibrillation can be related to various heart diseases or it can be an independent case of heart arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation becomes more common with age. A person with type 2 diabetes has a higher risk of atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of long-term heart arrhythmia. It can occur as seizures or over a longer period of time. Atrial fibrillation becomes more common after the age of 60. Atrial fibrillation is more common in people with diabetes. To some degree, this is because diabetes is common in the elderly. On the other hand, a person with diabetes is more likely to have medical conditions that predispose to atrial fibrillation.

Cardiovascular-based causes of atrial fibrillation include hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure and various valvular heart diseases. Non-heart-related causes of atrial fibrillation include hyperthyroidism, diabetes, obesity and sleep apnoea. Sometimes, there is no obvious reason for atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation may be experienced as a discomfort because it can cause heart palpitations and impair the heart’s ability to pump blood. However, the symptoms may be vague or there may be no clear symptoms.

Even if atrial fibrillation has no symptoms, it is important to diagnose and treat it to prevent disruptions to the blood supply to the brain. For this reason, there should be a low threshold for suspecting and examining atrial fibrillation in the elderly. Regular self-checking of pulse is key to identifying asymptomatic cases.

A person with at least a medium risk of blood clot or stroke, such as a person with diabetes, who has non-valvular atrial fibrillation can apply for Kela’s special reimbursement for so-called direct anticoagulants on the basis of the attending physician’s B certificate.

Updated 30.9.2023