Fast Five Quiz: Key Aspects of Atrial Fibrillation

Yasmine S. Ali, MD


September 13, 2018

AF is strongly age-dependent, affecting 4% of individuals older than 60 years and 8% of those older than 80 years. Approximately 25% of individuals aged 40 years or older will develop AF during their lifetime.

The incidence of AF is significantly higher in men than in women in all age groups, although this effect may be mediated through the difference in average height between men and women.

Increased intra-atrial pressure results in atrial electrical and structural remodeling and predisposes to AF. The most common causes of increased atrial pressure are mitral or tricuspid valve disease and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. Systemic or pulmonary hypertension also commonly predisposes to atrial pressure overload, and intracardiac tumors or thrombi are rare causes.

In 10%-15% of AF cases, the disease occurs in the absence of comorbidities. However, AF is often associated with other cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, heart failure, diabetes-related heart disease, ischemic heart disease, and valvular, dilated, hypertrophic, restrictive, and congenital cardiomyopathies.

For more on the etiology and epidemiology of AF, read here.


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