Eventually, she was referred to the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), and after a series of cardiac investigations, she was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, an irregular and chaotic heart rhythm which can affect the heart’s contraction and relaxation.
“She also developed heart failure contributed by atrial fibrillation, hence she developed fluid retention in her legs, as well as fluid retention in her lungs, which worsened her breathlessness,” said Dr Kelvin Chua, Senior Consultant of the Department of Cardiology, NHCS, the doctor who treated her.
UNKNOWN BUT NOT UNCOMMON
Atrial fibrillation, commonly referred as AFib, is the most common abnormal heart rhythm condition, affecting around 1.5 per cent of the Singapore population.
It is sometimes caused by damage to the heart’s electrical system as a result of other conditions such as coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.
But in many cases the cause of AFib is unknown. Age, heart disease and hereditary factors however are known to increase the risk of AFib.