Does older age increase the risk of getting atrial fibrillation?

Answer From Rekha Mankad, M.D.

Yes. Your risk of getting atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm condition, rises as you get older. Atrial fibrillation is much more common in older adults. When younger people get atrial fibrillation, it's most often linked to other heart conditions.

With aging, your risk of getting other conditions that can increase the risk of atrial fibrillation also rises. These conditions include high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, obstructive sleep apnea, heart valve problems and heart failure.

But lifestyle choices can improve heart health. To help prevent atrial fibrillation and other heart conditions with lifestyle choices:

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Eat foods that are low in salt, saturated fat and trans fat.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Limit or don't drink alcohol.
  • Keep a healthy weight.


Rekha Mankad, M.D.

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July 13, 2023 See more Expert Answers