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:
- type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes
- lung cancer
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)
- pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in your lungs).
- NHS Choices: Atrial Fibrillation. www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Atrial-fibrillation/Pages/Introduction.aspx