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The Heartbeat of Good Health

The Heartbeat of Good Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 12.1 million in the United States in 2030 will have atrial fibrillation, or AFib, underscoring a growing concern over the condition of irregular heartbeat in our everyday lives.

Almost 500,000 Americans are hospitalized every year because of AFib and yet many who have it may not realize it until they experience some of its telltale symptoms. The more severe warning signs may include palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting, and chest pain.

Dr. Nowwar Mustafa is an interventional cardiologist with Washington Township Medical Foundation with a special interest in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks and valve problems.

Dr. Mustafa will conduct a Health & Wellness seminar “Atrial Fibrillation: Symptoms and Treatment Options” on Wednesday, July 26, at 1 p.m. This free online seminar will take place on Facebook and YouTube. For information or to register, visit or call 800.963.7070.

This seminar will cover the causes, symptoms, and treatment of AFib and also explore the changes in lifestyle that can aid in reducing the risk of irregular heartbeats. AFib is a problem in the electricity of the heart. The upper chamber isn’t firing at the same time as the lower.

Left unchecked, AFib could lead to heart attack or stroke, which is why Dr. Mustafa said many people are increasingly interested in what to do about it. “Awareness of AFib is rising, probably because we’re seeing additional incidents of it now. Also, the public is getting older and AFib is more prevalent as you age.”

Dr. Mustafa continued, “Another reason that awareness has increased is the ready availability of devices like pacemakers, defibrillators and others that monitor heartbeats and AFib. Most people with AFib can lead a normal life. We have ways to treat it, control it, and can cure it with an ablation procedure.” Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to help break up the electrical signals causing irregular heartbeats.

Improved, advanced medical technology is a valuable tool in discovering AFib. Medical devices can detect it. Smart watches and other wearable medical devices can alert a doctor who can then quickly determine next steps.

“Blood thinners may be needed if there is a risk factor for a stroke. But for some people, all they need is to slow the heartbeat, force it to go back into normal time,” he explained.

Lifestyle Changes

At his presentation, Dr. Mustafa will also address the impact lifestyle changes can have on AFib. He will review factors such as cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and obesity.

According to Dr. Mustafa, the effect that losing weight has on avoiding developing AFib cannot be overstated, “If someone loses 5-10% of their weight, they cut the risk of AFib by 50%.”

How to Join the Seminar

The July 26 seminar will be available to join live on Facebook by signing in to an account and going to the page. A live view on YouTube is also available at and does not require an account.

Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing:

Facebook viewers can submit questions live and they will be addressed at the end of the seminar. This seminar, like many previous presentations, will be featured on their YouTube channel the following day.

More about Dr. Mustafa

Dr. Mustafa earned his medical degree at the University of Jordan and served his residency at Indiana University Medical Center. In addition to English, he is fluent in Arabic. He is married to a family physician and has four children. Dr. Mustafa lives in Union City and calls himself “mostly an urban hiker.” He belongs to a hiking group but mostly appreciates walks with his family.