What are the causes of atrial fibrillation?

The exact cause of atrial fibrillation (AF) is not known, but it is more common in older people and in in people with:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart valve disease
  • atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • congenital heart disease (birth defects affecting the heart)
  • cardiomyopathy (condition affecting the heart muscle)
  • pericarditis (inflammation of the lining surrounding the heart).

Atrial fibrillation is also linked to other medical conditions including:

Find out more about what atrial fibrillation is, and the symptoms and medicines for atrial fibrillation.

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