The link between atrial fibrillation and stroke

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a major risk factor for stroke. It’s a common condition in which the upper chambers of the heart beat very quickly and irregularly. As a result, blood is not pumped effectively to the rest of the body and may pool and clot. If a clot dislodges, it can travel to the brain and result in a stroke.

If you’ve had a stroke, you are at greater risk for having another (recurrent) stroke.

Illustration of four icons of people with one highlighted in blue and the words 1 in 4 above them

At least one in four Americans who have a stroke will have another stroke within their lifetime.1

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AFib increases the risk of stroke by more than five times.2

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Most AFib episodes are asymptomatic, meaning you don't feel them.3

Long-term heart monitoring can help.

Advanced solutions are now available for continuous heart monitoring after a stroke. Information sent from a heart monitor can help your doctor determine if you have AFib.

A tiny, insertable heart monitor can watch your heart for 3–4.5 years.* The monitor can catch abnormal heart rhythms as they happen and send that information directly to your doctor. If it is determined that you have experienced AFib episodes, your doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment to help prevent another stroke from occurring. Talk to your doctor about your heart monitoring options and their risks and benefits.

*Battery longevity varies by device. See device manual for specific parameters.
Illustration of symbols and numbers representing greater than 80 days

Clinical studies have shown that for many stroke patients, it could take more than 80 days for AFib to appear because the episodes happen rarely, and often without symptoms.3,4

Illustration of a circle outlined 88% with blue and the number 88% in the middle

88% of unexplained stroke patients who had AFib would have been missed if they were only monitored for 30 days.3

Illustration of a person with an insertable heart monitor on their chest

Your doctor may ask you to wear a portable heart monitor for several days to try to identify AFib, but — in some cases — a longer-term option may be needed.

Watch a stroke patient’s story.

Pam found peace of mind after her unexplained stroke (cryptogenic stroke) with the Reveal LINQ™ insertable cardiac monitor (ICM). Watch her story.

†Not every person will receive the same results. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.


Talk to your doctor.

Long-term cardiac monitoring is prescribed by your physician and is not for everyone. Please talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you. Your physician should discuss all potential benefits and risks with you. Although many patients benefit from long-term monitoring, results may vary.

For further information, please call the Medtronic toll-free number at 800-551-5544 (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday–Friday, CT) or see the Medtronic website at

Find a heart specialist.



Preventing Another Stroke. American Stroke Association. Available at: October 4, 2023.


Wolf PA, Abbott RD, Kannel WB. Atrial fibrillation as an independent risk factor for stroke: the Framingham Study. Stroke. August 1991;22(8):983–988.


Sanna T, Diener HC, Passman RS, et al. Cryptogenic stroke and underlying atrial fibrillation. N Engl J Med. June 26, 2014;370(26):2478–2486.


Bernstein RA, Kamel H, Granger CB, et al. Effect of Long-term Continuous Cardiac Monitoring vs Usual Care on Detection of Atrial Fibrillation in Patients With Stroke Attributed to Large- or Small-Vessel Disease: The STROKE-AF Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. June 1, 2021;325(21):2169–2177.