Table of Contents
- Atrial fibrillation (AFib) facts
- What is the normal function of the heart?
- What is the electrical function of the heart?
- What causes atrial fibrillation?
- Heart rate during AFib
- What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
- What are the risk factors for developing atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
- How is atrial fibrillation (AFib) diagnosed?
- Heart monitors and other tests
- What is the treatment for atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
- Slowing the heart rate with medications
- Anticoagulation drugs to prevent blood clots and strokes
- Who are, and who are not candidates for warfarin?
- Newer medications to prevent stroke in AFib
- Cardioversion with medications
- Other methods of converting AFib to a normal rhythm
- Risks and candidates for cardioversion
- Procedures for treating and preventing atrial fibrillation (AFib)
- Other procedures for treating and preventing atrial fibrillation
- What are the complications of atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
- What is pulmonary vein isolation?
- Who are candidates for PVI, and what are the risks?
Quick GuideAtrial Fibrillation: Heart Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment for AFib
What are the risk factors for developing atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
There are many risk factors for developing AFib. These risk factors are:
- Increased age (1% of people over 60 years of age have AFib)
- Coronary heart disease (including heart attack)
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heart muscle function (including congestive heart failure)
- Disease of the mitral valve between the left and right ventricle
- An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or overdose of thyroid medication
- Low amounts of oxygen in the blood, for example, as occurs with lung diseases such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Inflammation of the lining surrounding the heart (pericarditis)
- Blood clots in the lung (pulmonary embolism)
- Chronic lung diseases (emphysema, asthma, COPD)
- Excessive intake of alcohol (alcoholism)
- Stimulant drug use such as cocaine or decongestants
- Recent heart or lung surgery
- Abnormal heart structure from the time of birth (congenital heart disease)
About 1 in 10,000 otherwise healthy, young adults have atrial fibrillation without any apparent cause or underlying heart disease. AFib in these individuals usually is intermittent, but can become chronic in 25%. This condition is referred to as lone AFib. Stress, alcohol, tobacco, or use of stimulants may play a role in causing lone AFib. Continue Reading
UpToDate. Patient information: Atrial fibrillation (Beyond the Basics).
Wann, Samuel L., et al. "2011 ACCF/AHA/HRS focused update on the management of patients with atrial fibrillation (Updating the 2006 Guideline): a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines." Journal of the American College of Cardiology 57.2 (2011): 223-242.
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