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Frequently Asked Questions

What causes Atrial Fibrillation?

The causes of AF (also referred to as AFib) are not always clear and can be complex.1,2,3 Possible causes of Atrial Fibrillation are wide ranging with heart disease, age, family history, high blood pressure, alcohol consumption, obesity, and other chronic conditions all factors that can increase your risk of developing AF.1,4

Can Atrial Fibrillation be a fatal condition? 

Atrial Fibrillation is not life threatening in itself. However, it is important that you seek treatment not only to control the symptoms, but also because AF can lead to life-threatening conditions like stroke or heart failure.5,6

AF is one of the most common causes of stroke – up to 30% of all strokes occur in people with AF.1,5

Reducing Risk of AF

My father had Atrial Fibrillation. Does it run in families? 

The causes of AF are not always clear and can be complex.1,2,3

Possible causes of Atrial Fibrillation are wide ranging with heart disease, age, family history, high blood pressure, alcohol consumption, obesity, and other chronic conditions all factors that can increase your risk of developing AF.1,4

Having a relative with AF and being male does increase your risk of developing it,1,7,8,9,10 but these are just two of many other risk factors. The important thing is to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of AF or if you have detected an irregular pulse.

What are the health risks of having Atrial Fibrillation? 

Atrial Fibrillation is not life threatening in itself. However, it is important that you seek treatment for it not only to control the symptoms, but also because Atrial Fibrillation can lead to life-threatening conditions like stroke or heart failure.5,6

AF is one of the most common causes of stroke – up to 30% of all strokes occur in people with AF.1,5

Can Atrial Fibrillation be cured? 

There is an array of treatment options available today for Atrial Fibrillation, which includes treating AF with medication or by undergoing a procedure. Your doctor will help you decide which AF treatment path is right for you. Check out our treatment options section for more information about these options.

What can I do to reduce my risk of developing Atrial Fibrillation? 

There are various changes you can make to your lifestyle to reduce your risk of developing AF. These include keeping to a healthy weight, exercising regularly, monitoring your alcohol intake, and stopping smoking11 – all the usual factors that support a healthier lifestyle. 

Covid-19: What to do if you feel sick, also having Atrial Fibrillation?

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References

1. Kirchhof P, Benussi S, Kotecha D, Ahlsson A, Atar D et al. (2016) 2016 ESC Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation developed in collaboration with EACTS. Eur Heart J 37 (38): 2893-2962. 2. Cedars-Sinai, https://www.cedars-sinai.org/. 3. Naser N, Dilic M, Durak A, Kulic M, Pepic E et al. (2017) The Impact of Risk Factors and Comorbidities on The Incidence of Atrial Fibrillation. Mater Sociomed 29 (4): 231-236. 4. Lip GY, Fauchier L, Freedman SB et al. (2016) Atrial Fibrillation Nat Rev Dis Primers. Mar 31;2:16016. 5. Zoni-Berisso M, Lercari F, Carazza T, Domenicucci S (2014) Epidemiology of atrial fibrillation: European perspective. Clin Epidemiol 6 213-220. 6. Odutayo A, Wong CX, Hsiao AJ, Hopewell S, Altman DG et al. (2016) Atrial fibrillation and risks of cardiovascular disease, renal disease, and death: systematic review and meta-analysis. Bmj 354 i4482. 7. Lloyd-Jones DM, Wang TJ, Leip EP, Larson MG, Levy D et al. (2004) Lifetime risk for development of atrial fibrillation: the Framingham Heart Study. Circulation 110 (9): 1042-1046. 8. Paludan-Muller C, Svendsen JH, Olesen MS (2016) The role of common genetic variants in atrial fibrillation. J Electrocardiol 49 (6): 864-870. 9. Gundlund A, Fosbol EL, Kim S, Fonarow GC, Gersh BJ et al. (2016) Family history of atrial fibrillation is associated with earlier-onset and more symptomatic atrial fibrillation: Results from the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (ORBIT-AF) registry. Am Heart J 175 28-35. 10. Zulkifly H, Lip GYH, Lane DA (2018) Epidemiology of atrial fibrillation. Int J Clin Pract e13070. 11. Menezes AR, et al. (2015) Lifestyle Modification in the Prevention and Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation Prog Cardiovasc Dis ;58(2):117–25.

Disclaimer: The information featured here is not intended as medical advice, or to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. Please talk to your doctor if you have any questions.

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