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Atrial Fibrillation Causes and Risk Factors

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Atrial Fibrillation Causes and Risk Factors
Atrial Fibrillation
Causes and Risk Factors
Symptoms
Diagnosis
Treatment

Causes of atrial fibrillation
The cause of atrial filbrillation is a disorder in the heart's electrical system. Abnormalities or damage to the heart's structure are common cause of atrial fibrillation. However, some people experience only infrequent and brief episodes of atrial fibrillation - these episodes are brought on by triggers, such as excessive alcohol intake or caffeine. Others diagnosed with atrial fibrillation don't experience any heart defects or damage, a condition called "lone atrial fibrillation", a condition whose cause is often unclear.  Common causes of AF include:

  • abnormal heart valves
  • an overactive thyroid or other metabolic imbalance
  • congenital heart defects
  • emphysema or other lung diseases
  • exposure to stimulants (alcohol, caffeine, medications, or tobacco)
  • heart attacks
  • high blood pressure
  • previous heart surgery
  • sick sinus syndrome (improper function of the heart's natural pacemaker)
  • sleep apnea
  • stress due to illness or surgery
  • viral infections

Risk factors
There are certain risk factors that make it more likely that a person develops atrial fibrillation. Risk factors may not be a direct cause of a particular disease, but seem to be associated with its development in some way. Risk factors associated with developing atrial fibrillation include:

  • age
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • other chronic conditions
  • drinking alcohol
  • family history

To better understand the symptoms of atrial fibrillation, continue reading here. The next section on atrial fibrillation outlines the signs and symptoms for those who think that they may be experiencing the condition.  More info on symptoms of atrial fibrillation here.

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Tags: heart defects, heart surgery, heart valves, medications, infections, emphysema, pacemaker, Diseases, triggers, drinking, symptoms, caffeine, surgery, attacks, chronic, thyroid, Stress, heart, sleep, AF
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