What are the risk factors for atrial fibrillation?
Certain factors may increase your risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder.
- Age. The older you are, the greater your risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
- Heart disease. Anyone with heart disease — such as heart valve problems, congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, or a history of heart attack or heart surgery — has an increased risk of atrial fibrillation.
- High blood pressure. Having high blood pressure, especially if it's not well-controlled with lifestyle changes or medications, can increase your risk of atrial fibrillation.
- Other chronic conditions. People with certain chronic conditions — such as thyroid problems, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, chronic kidney disease or lung disease — have an increased risk of atrial fibrillation.
- Drinking alcohol. For some people, drinking alcohol can trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation. Binge drinking may put you at an even higher risk.
- Obesity. People who are obese are at higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
- Family history. An increased risk of atrial fibrillation runs in some families.
Feb. 25, 2014
- Atrial fibrillation (Afib). Heart Rhythm Society. http://www.hrsonline.org/Patient-Resources/Heart-Diseases-Disorders/Atrial-Fibrillation-AFib. Accessed Feb. 13, 2014.
- What is atrial fibrillation? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/af/. Accessed Feb. 13, 2014.
- Verdecchia P, et al. Blood pressure and other determinants of new-onset atrial fibrillation in patients at high cardiovascular risk in the Ongoing Telmisartan Alone and in Combination With Ramipril Global Endpoint Trial/Telmisartan Randomized AssessmeNt Study in ACE intolerant subjects with cardiovascular disease studies. Journal of Hypertension. 2012;30:1004.
- Ganz LI. Epidemiology of and risk factors for atrial fibrillation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 13, 2014.