Atrial fibrillation refers to a condition in which one experiences an irregular heartbeat. This condition is a major cause of concern because it represents a disturbance in the normal flow of blood. Such a disruption holds the potential to cause blood clotting and stroke.
Unfortunately, the number of victims of this condition has grown by four times over the past decade. This has urged scientists to investigate the matter more closely and come up with more solid reasoning for explaining what causes the condition.
Typically, atrial fibrillation can be treated through surgical treatments as well as through medications. However, if the problem is ignored and left unchecked, it can be fatal. For long, the causes behind the ailment were not known. There were differing views on what caused it but no substantial information that was agreed upon by all medical experts.
Now that research has evolved, some causes of the problem have been pointed out. A new study reveals the factors which have been accused of causing atrial fibrillation. These are alcohol consumption and high blood pressure. Other risk factors for AF which have been previously presented include obesity, sleep apnea, heredity, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, etc.
Atrial Fibrillation – What Is It?
Before diving further into the causes of this condition, let’s get a brief understanding of what happens during it. You see, the heart has four chambers and AF impacts the upper two chambers which start contracting at a faster pace. This causes irregularity of blood flow in the lower chambers and hence, disturbs the flow of blood to other parts of the body as well.
Some facts that you should know about this condition:
- AF typically effects those who are above 65 years of page
- About 2% of people who are younger than this age are also victims of atrial fibrillation
- More women experience this problem than men
- According to 2010 findings, 33.5 million people around the world have AF
Research Reveals The Causes Of Atrial Fibrillation
Initially the exact causes of AF were not known. Now a new research which has been published in the American Journal of Cardiology reveals that high blood pressure and alcohol consumption can cause the problem. High blood pressure or hypertension can increase the risk of atrial fibrillation as it can disrupt the flow of blood to the heart’s chambers.
Secondly, alcohol consumption is the problem. Too much regular intake of alcohol can result in a number of health problems. Another research also shows that even moderate consumption of alcohol is linked with the increased risk of developing hypertension which in turn can cause AF.
Wrap Up Thoughts
Atrial fibrillation is a major health problem which can be treated but it can also lead to stroke. The problem, if untreated, can cause death even. Previously, there were no causes given for AF that medical experts unanimously agreed upon. However, now a new research says that high blood pressure and alcohol consumption are two factors that cause atrial fibrillation.