Atrial fibrillation is associated with many conditions, including:
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease (hardening of the heart arteries)
- Heart valve disease
- Having undergone heart surgery
- Chronic lung disease
- Heart failure
- Cardiomyopathy (disease of heart muscle that causes heart failure)
- Congenital (present at birth) heart disease
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in lungs).
Less common causes of atrial fibrillation include:
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
- Pericarditis (inflammation of the outside lining of the heart).
- Viral infection.
In at least 10% of people with AF, no underlying heart disease is found. In many of these people, AF may be related to alcohol or excessive caffeine use, stress, certain drugs, electrolyte or metabolic imbalances, or severe infections. In some people, no identifiable cause can be found.
The risk of AF increases with age, particularly after age 60. According to the CDC, AF affects roughly one in every 10 persons aged 80 years or older.
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