Atrial Fibrillation


Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm occurred by fast and irregular beating of the atria. Often it initiates as brief episodes of abnormal beating which become longer and possibly constant over time. Often episodes have no signs; there may be heart-palpitations, lightheadedness, fainting and shortness of breath or chest pain. The disease is related with an increased risk of heart failure, dementia, and stroke. It is a type of supraventricular tachycardia.


 


The most common variable risk factors for atrial fibrillation are high blood pressure & valvular heart-disease. Additional heart-related risk factors comprise congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, heart failure and cardiomyopathy. In the evolving world valvular heart disease frequently occurs as a result of rheumatic fever. Lung associated risk factors contain COPD, obesity, and sleep apnea. Other factors comprise tobacco smoking, diabetes mellitus, thyrotoxicosis and excess alcohol intake. However, half of cases are not related with any of these risks. A diagnosis is done by feeling the pulse and may be confirmed using an electrocardiogram.

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