What Are the Risk Factors for Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation, which is also known as AF or AFib, is an irregular heartbeat that can cause heart-related complications, like stroke, heart failure, and blood clots. More than 2.7 million people in America suffer from the condition. If you suspect that you might have atrial fibrillation in Frisco, you should seek medical help right away.

A healthy heart follows a regular beat. With atrial fibrillation, the atria (upper heart chambers) beat irregularly rather than beating efficiently to transport blood into heart ventricles.

Risk Factors for Atrial Fibrillation

While AFib can affect anyone, the following factors increase the risk of suffering from the condition:

  1.     Advanced Age

Your risk of contracting atrial fibrillation increases as you become older, particularly after the age of 60. That is partly because you are at a higher likelihood of getting heart disease and other ailments that can lead to AFib.

  1.     Family History

Atrial Fibrillation is a hereditary family condition. That implies some of the cause is connected to the genes you acquire from your birth parents. If one of your close family members had AFib, you might be at risk of contracting it as well.

  1.     High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is the most common ailment associated with atrial fibrillation. It can cause the upper heart chambers to become bigger, forcing the organ to work harder.

  1.     Underlying Heart Disease

AFib affects the heart, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that other heart problems increase the chance of contracting the condition. Such problems include coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart birth defects, rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, heart valve disease, and pericarditis. Suffering from a heart attack or undergoing heart surgery also increases the likelihood of atrial fibrillation.

  1.     Lung Disease

Lung diseases, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), pulmonary embolism, and emphysema, have been linked AFib. COPD, in particular, is frequently associated with issues that play a role in atrial fibrillation, like:

  •         High blood pressure
  •         Heart disease
  •         Problems with the heart ventricles
  •         Low blood oxygen levels
  •         Cigarette smoking
  •         Inhaled medicines for boosting heart rate
  •         Cardiac autonomic dysfunction
  1.     Alcohol Consumption

Binge drinking, which involves taking five drinks in 120 minutes for males or four drinks for females, might increase AFib risks in some people. However, for other people, even taking a modest amount of alcohol can trigger the condition.

  1.     Medication

Studies suggest that taking steroids frequently for treating asthma or other medical conditions increases the risk of getting AFib. The steroid medication can trigger an episode if your odds of contracting the condition are already high. The same applies to over-the-counter cold medicines containing caffeine or other stimulants.

  1.     Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Being Overweight

Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity are often associated with hypertension. In addition, they can also make it more difficult for the heart to empty and trigger other physical alterations that increase the likelihood of getting AFib.

  1.     Sleep Apnea

Every time you are forced to wake up by a lack of oxygen, mechanical stress and chemical changes are set on your heart. Additionally, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, obesity and other AFib-related conditions.

The above are some of the risk factors that can lead to atrial fibrillation. If you fit into any of those groups, it is best to always go for regular medical checkups.