According to information found in a new study, a middle-aged man’s blood pressure levels may be able to help predict whether he will develop atrial fibrillation (AF).

Specifically, it is the upper-normal blood pressure levels that seem to be the factor in this study, which was published online on January 17, 2012 in Hypertension. This study was conducted by a Swedish research group that was led by Dr. Irene Grundvold of the Oslo University Hospital, in Norway. For this study, researchers gather together a group of 2,014 healthy middle-aged men from 1972 to 1975 who had undergone a thorough examination that included taking their blood pressure. What they found was that in the 35 years of follow-up exams, 270 of the men had developed AF. Most of those men didn’t get the condition until at least 20 years had passed.

The study also showed that the men that had higher blood pressure levels had a higher chance of developing AF than those patients that had lower blood pressure levels. Grundvold says she doesn’t know of any other study that been able to show that patients have a higher chance of developing AF (even when otherwise completely healthy) if they have upper-normal blood-pressure levels.

“I consider increasing blood-pressure levels and hypertension as a continuum, and in my opinion the mechanisms are to a large extent similar for upper-normal blood pressures as for established hypertension,” Grundvold said.

“Increased blood pressure over time may cause a slow but progressive process of structural and electrophysiological remodeling in both ventricles and atria,” the paper reads. “Elevated end-diastolic left ventricular pressure and subsequently increased left atrial pressure may cause atrial stretch and eventually dilatation, which may favor the development of AF.”

Grunvold has stated that while this information is certainly helpful, more studies will have to be conducted before they can make any drug treatment recommendations regarding AF in patients with upper-normal blood pressure levels. This means that drugs like Multaq cannot even be considered until more information is collected first.

Multaq is often used as a treatment for AF; however, the drug has recently undergone a great deal of controversy that has many people calling for its recall due to its links to liver failure and a worsening of the heart condition. In clinical trials, Multaq has been proven to cause death in some patients suffering from permanent AF. If you or a loved one has developed liver failure or a worsening of your heart condition after taking Multaq, contact the attorneys at Greg Jones today for a free consultation. We are experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.