Southeastern Health

Problems in your heart can lead to a stroke in your brain

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that affects the atria, the upper chambers of the heart. It is the most common form of sustained arrhythmia, and 2.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with the condition. For those over age 40, there is a 1 in 4 chance of developing the condition. Atrial fibrillation can be chronic or intermittent. Therefore, routine electrocardiograms (ECG) may not always detect atrial fibrillation in intermittent cases.

A major complication of atrial fibrillation is stroke. In fact, atrial fibrillation raises the risk of stroke five-times. The irregular heartbeat caused by atrial fibrillation leads to complications in pumping blood through the heart, causing the blood to pool in the heart chambers. When this pooling worsens, the blood begins to clot, and this clot can travel throughout the body. If the clot travels to the brain, it can cause a stroke.

Southeastern Regional Medical Center is pleased to sponsor the services of Life Line Screening, the nation’s largest provider of community-based preventive screenings, in order to help local residents identify their risk of stroke, vascular disease and osteoporosis before the catastrophic effects of these conditions occur. The events are open to local residents and will be held: November 20 at First United Methodist Church in Bennettsville, SC; December 4 at First Church in Fayetteville, NC; January 25 at MacPherson Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, NC; and January 31 at Godwin Heights Baptist Church in Lumberton, NC.

In addition to the atrial fibrillation screening, Life Line Screening uses ultrasound to scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries, which can lead to a stroke; abdominal aortic aneurysms, which can lead to a ruptured aorta; hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease; and a bone density screening for men and women used to assess the risk of osteoporosis.

A special wellness package is available for $149. The whole process takes less than an hour.

To pre-register for a screening contact Life Line Screening at or call 1-800-690-0295 to make an appointment.

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