Risk Factors

Risk Factors

Heart disease. Anyone with heart disease, including valve problems, history of heart attack, congestive heart failure, and heart surgery, faces an increased risk of atrial fibrillation.

Other chronic conditions. People with thyroid problems, high blood pressure, Diabetes Mellitus, sleep apnea, previous stroke, and other medical problems have an elevated risk of atrial fibrillation.

Age. The older you are, the greater your risk of developing atrial fibrillation. As you age, the electrical and structural properties of the atria can change. This may lead to the breakdown of the normal atrial rhythm.

Family history. An increased risk of atrial fibrillation runs in some families. In some of these cases, specific genes have been identified as the likely cause of atrial fibrillation.

Alcohol use. Use of alcohol, especially binge drinking, can trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation.