Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
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?
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