Aspirus Offering Free Seminar on Atrial Fibrillation

Learn about AFib risks and why you should not ignore symptoms

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is estimated to affect over 2.7 million Americans, but many do not even know they have it. If left untreated, the heart rhythm disorder causes the heart to beat irregularly, greatly increasing the risk of stroke and heart failure.

Aspirus Heart Care is offering a free seminar on Tuesday, July 23rd where people can learn more about atrial fibrillation, its connection to strokes and heart failure, as well as innovative treatment options including the new pulsed field ablation, offered at Aspirus Heart Care.

The seminar is at The Waters of Minocqua and runs from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. It is free to attend, but registration is required.

Aspirus Heart Care Cardiothoracic Surgeon, John Johnkoski, MD, and Electrophysiologist, Kevin Rist, MD, PhD, will provide information about traditional management, minimally invasive surgical procedures, catheter-based ablation as well as combined approaches that treat atrial fibrillation to help reduce symptoms, prevent strokes, and allow people to live more active lives.

“The major issue with atrial fibrillation isn’t just the symptoms, like racing or skipping heartbeat or shortness of breath, which are certainly troubling; rather, patients with the condition should know they are at much higher risk of heart failure and stroke,” says Dr. Johnkoski. “The risk of stroke increases about five-fold in individuals with AFib compared to those in normal sinus rhythm.”

“AFib involves abnormalities in the electrical signals within the heart, so prompt diagnosis is crucial,” says Dr. Rist. “Prolonged episodes can lead to changes in the atrial tissue and electrical properties. These changes can perpetuate AFib and make it more challenging to manage.”

Recent research published in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology shows that in the United States, AFib is also on the rise in people younger than age 65. And in this group, they were more likely to be hospitalized for heart failure, stroke or heart attack than those who did not have AFib. This increase can be contributed to risk factors such as diabetes, smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, hypertension or sleep apnea that over time can contribute to heart damage.

Managing AFib is essential for reducing the risk of serious complications. It's important for individuals with AFib to actively participate in their treatment plan and work with their healthcare team to help support symptom free active lives.

To register for this event, call 800.847.4707, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or visit