Picture: Pexels Men develop a dangerous type of irregular heartbeat

Men develop a dangerous type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation a decade earlier than women, a new study suggests.

And while being overweight increased odds for the condition in both sexes, those extra kilos were more troublesome for males, researchers found.

“It's crucial to better understand modifiable risk factors of atrial fibrillation,” said study author Dr Christina Magnussen.

“If prevention strategies succeed in targeting these risk factors, we expect a noticeable decline in new-onset atrial fibrillation,” added Magnussen, a specialist in internal medicine and cardiology at the University Heart Centre in Hamburg.

A-fib means the upper chambers of the heart, or atria, quiver instead of beat. 

In the new 13-year study, the condition tripled the odds of dying prematurely. According to the American Heart Association statistics, as many as 6 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, with those numbers likely to double by 2030. 

- The New York Times