Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia caused by the rapid and aberrant beating of cardiac muscles. This issue affects the heart’s natural rhythm due to its inability to maintain synchronous contractions. Atrial fibrillation can be occasional or persistent and can permanently damage the part of the heart it impacts. The condition is rarely fatal but can create the pathway for other cardiac complications. Here are some causes of atrial fibrillation that should be noted
Age increases the chances of patients developing atrial fibrillation. The risk of developing the condition is significantly higher in people aged 60 years and above. Atrial fibrillation is not commonly seen in young adults and children. However, if an individual has underlying heart conditions, their chances of developing this disorder significantly increase.
Over or uncontrolled consumption of habit-forming substances has often been associated with cardiac concerns. This risk occurs because the substances that are frequently abused raise the inflammation levels of the body and even lead to blocked arteries in some cases. Constant use of these substances builds pressure on the heart and can cause conditions like atrial fibrillation.
The thyroid gland directly or indirectly regulates multiple bodily functions, and its over- or underactive nature can be a leading cause of disorders in other organs. A hormonal imbalance is primarily known to cause abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland. One of the organs that are significantly impacted by thyroid imbalance is the heart. Abnormal gland function can lead to changes in cardiovascular and pulmonary function.
Sleep apnea causes the cessation of breath when one is asleep. This condition can cause single or multiple pauses while breathing, causing an increase in pressure on multiple organs. Some of them include the brain, heart, and respiratory systems. Sleep apnea can also develop hypertension in patients, which can act as a trigger for cardiac conditions, including atrial fibrillation.
Atrial flutter can be defined as the disturbance caused in the heart rate, which is minor in comparison to fibrillation. This problem is a lot less disruptive than atrial fibrillation and tends to impact the ventricles and the atria. The causes and treatment of the two conditions are also the same, but in some cases, atrial flutter can develop into atrial fibrillation.
This chronic cardiac disorder impacts the heart muscles, which can be an inherited disorder or developed over time. Although the exact cause of cardiomyopathy is often unknown, factors like vitamin B1 deficiency and viral infections can be considered. Cardiomyopathy can aggravate other cardiovascular complications like heart failure, atrial fibrillation, arrhythmias, and embolism.
Congenital heart defects
Such diseases have been observed in individuals since the time of their birth. Congenital heart defects include issues that pertain to the blood vessels, cardiac muscles and valves, and the walls of the heart. All of these cardiac conditions can cause significant changes in normal blood circulation, thereby increasing the chances of developing atrial fibrillation.
Coronary heart disease
Coronary arteries are blood vessels that are responsible for the transport of blood and oxygen to the cardiac muscles. A condition in which these arteries of the heart suffer from plaque deposition on their inner or outer walls is known as coronary heart disease. Such a deposition negatively impacts blood pressure as well as impacts the distribution of blood. If the circulation of blood is that poor in individuals, it can lead to atrial fibrillation.
Patients who have been dealing with hypertension over a prolonged period are at a greater risk of developing atrial fibrillation. This issue occurs if blood pressure in the left ventricle is high. Atrial fibrillation and hypertension together can also serve as causative factors for thromboembolic complications.
Mitral valve disease
The left atrium and the left ventricle are connected by the mitral or bicuspid valve. One critical function of this valve is to allow the passage of blood from the atrium to the ventricle while ensuring the prevention of backflow. Mitral valve disease is the condition in which backflow occurs, and the blood in that valve ends up leaking from the left ventricle to the left atrium. Such poor control over blood flow and the eventual change in blood pressure can lead to atrial fibrillation.
The pericardium is the membranous layer covering the heart and protecting it. The condition in which this layer undergoes chronic or acute inflammation is known as Pericarditis. If the walls of the pericardium weaken, one is at a greater risk of developing other cardiovascular conditions like atrial fibrillation.