User Tools - Logged Out

American Heart Association | American Stroke AssociationAmerican Heart Association | American Stroke Association
To Join Our ONLINE COMMUNITY For Atrial Fibrillation

AFib Town > Newly Diagnosed


Are you at risk for atrial fibrillation? (AFib or AF)

Any person, ranging from children to adults, can develop atrial fibrillation. Because the likelihood of AFib increases with age and people are living longer today, medical researchers predict the number of AFib cases will rise dramatically over the next few years. Even though AFib clearly increases the risks of heart-related death and stroke, many patients do not fully recognize the potentially serious consequences.

Who is at higher risk?

Typically people who have one or more of the following conditions are at higher risk for AFib:

  • Athletes: AFib is common in athletes and can be triggered by a rapid heart rate called a supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).
  • Advanced age: The number of adults developing AFib increases markedly with older age.  Atrial fibrillation in children is rare, but it can and does happen.
  • Underlying heart disease: Anyone with heart disease, including valve problemshypertrophic cardiomyopathyacute coronary syndromeWolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome and history of heart attack. Additionally, atrial fibrillation is the most common complication after heart surgery.
  • High blood pressure: Longstanding, uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase your risk for AFib.
  • Drinking alcohol: Binge drinking (having five drinks in two hours for men, or four drinks for women) may put you at higher risk for AFib.
  • Sleep apnea: Although sleep apnea isn’t proven to cause AFib, studies show a strong link between obstructive sleep apnea and AFib. Often, treating the apnea can improve AFib.
  • Family history: Having a family member with AFib increases your chances of being diagnosed.
  • Other chronic conditions: Others at risk are people with thyroid problems, diabetes, asthma and other chronic medical problems.

Recent Discussions

  • 0 Replies
    Ten years ago I had repeated episodes of Right Ventricular Outflow Track tachycardia, had an ablation, all good. Then in April went to ER with PSVT and, because HR was 256, had another ablation, obviously different place in my heart. No p...
  • 4 Replies
    Sorry, the above post should have appeared under my thread Atrial Fibrillation, Apical Hypertopic Cardiomopathy. 
  • 4 Replies
    Well here I am at home, up in the middle of the night. Have lots of referred pain to shoulders from being on the table for over 6 hours but SUCCESS. NSR!! Dr said he basically fried everything. I believe him. Having lots of referred right shou...
Understanding your Risk: Any person can develop Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

Additional Resources