Atrial fibrillation (AF) has been called the arrhythmia of the millennium. Millions of Americans suffer from lone atrial fibrillation (AF without heart disease), and many don't even know they have it. This total is steadily growing with the greying of the baby boomer generation and the deteriorating American diet. I was living in ignorant bliss until exactly two years ago during a routine treadmill test, when I joined the swelling ranks of afibbers. This came as quite a shock, as I had for years been an avid endurance athlete. Fortunately, shortly thereafter I stumbled upon www.afibbers.org, a unique website created by Hans Larsen, and slowly began the road to almost complete recovery.
Hans Larsen's new book Lone Atrial Fibrillation: Towards a Cure has now become my AF bible. It is highly annotated and heavily referenced and it is nice to have the results of the most recent studies so well organized and in one place. This work is not a diary of the author's personal struggle with the disease. Hans just presents the evidence and allows the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. In this era of "patient heal thyself" this approach is quite timely. Many of you have probably arrived at this book after exhausting most of the traditional lines of therapy, from ineffective antiarrhythmics to somewhat risky invasive surgical procedures, all of which are eruditely explored in this book. You've arrived at the right place, because Hans Larsen has special expertise in alternative medicine and nutrition with a decidedly scientific bent.
I consider Hans Larsen one of the foremost authorities in this field, for it surely is a personal battleground against an elusive foe. Depending on the rate at which your ventricles respond to an episode of LAF, the affliction can be quite debilitating. However, for many the real toll is in the frustration and even depression from the helplessness in being able to control neither the time nor duration of this unpredictable visitor. Based on the information in this book, some of which is available on his website, I've gone from almost daily episodes to their almost complete disappearance.
Hans' attention to detail and precision approach to a very complex disease will quickly become apparent. In addition, Hans is no ivory tower academician, but actively and frequently participates in discussions on his forum. His popularity is easy to discern. Be sure to visit the forum. Its sole goal is the same as the goal of this book – to find a cure for LAF. You'll enjoy this book not only because of the treasure trove of data on LAF it provides, but also because it will open the door to a healthier lifestyle in general. However, it's up to you to step through that threshold.
On behalf of all my fellow forum participants, I would like to express our "heartfelt" appreciation to Hans for his tireless efforts at setting us all on the road to recovery. Hopefully, this book will serve to start you down that same path as well. Congratulations on such a comprehensive treatise!
Patrick Chambers, MD
Patrick Chambers received his baccalaureate degree from Princeton University in Mathematics in 1971 followed shortly thereafter by completion of medical studies at the University of California at Davis. He completed his specialty training in pathology at the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center. After more than 25 years as a practicing pathologist and laboratory director at Torrance Memorial Medical Center he recently retired to Kailua, Hawaii, where plentiful sunlight and high vitamin D levels hopefully keep his prostate healthy and cancer free. In an annual review of 4000 American acute care hospitals Torrance Memorial was the only non-teaching hospital of any size to be named a Top 100 Hospital three years in a row (1993, 1994, 1995).