Atrial Fibrillation – Causes and Risk Factors

Atrial fibrillation is a medical condition that occurs due to alteration in the heart’s tissue or the electrical signaling that assists heartbeats. Atrial fibrillation is gradually becoming one of the most common heart conditions in the world. To understand this disease, it is important to first understand what causes it.

In this article, we will discuss the causes, risk factors, and other important factors to note about atrial fibrillation.

What Causes Atrial Fibrillation?

Electrical signals play significant roles in getting the heart to pump blood to the body. The electric signal generally starts in the sinoatrial blade, a special area in the right atrium. The signal causes contraction in both the right and left atrium, which facilitates the pumping of blood to the lower heart chambers, or ventricles. The electrical signal then travels further down the heart and signals the ventricles to contract.

Atrial fibrillation occurs when abnormal electrical signals in the right and left atrium disrupt the normal process. The abnormal signal usually causes the upper chambers of the heart to contract irregularly, making your heart’s upper and lower chambers lose the ability to work together effectively.

Any damage to the electrical signaling or the heart’s tissue can result in fast and irregular pumping of the heart. In most cases, this type of damage to the heart occurs due to other conditions like coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. Changes in electrical signaling or changes to the heart tissue can also occur due to other factors.

Let’s take a look at some common causes of atrial fibrillation