More Americans Being Hospitalized for Irregular Heart Beats

Published 05/22 2014 09:19AM

Updated 05/22 2014 09:21AM

A new study reveals irregular heart rhythms are becoming a more common and costly medical problem.

Researchers looked at over 4 million hospital admissions for atrial fibrillation which can lead to stroke or other heart complications.

Hospital stays for the condition increased 23% between 2001 and 2010, although the number of in-hospital deaths were unchanged.

And while the number of days people were hospitalized was the same, the average cost rose 24%.

Experts say the hike is the result of longer lifespans and more people with high blood pressure, obesity, sleep apnea and diabetes.

In other health news, a new study explains why a Mediterranean diet helps lower blood pressure.

British researchers found that when unsaturated fats, like olive oil, are combined with nitrogen compounds in some vegetables nitro fatty acids are formed.

And when they fed these acids to mice, it improved their blood pressure.

Experts say these findings confirm the benefits of eating a vegetable-rich diet supplemented with fats from olive oil or nuts.

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