Is atrial fibrillation a serious condition? My friend is 45 and has it.

Not usually. Atrial fibrillation may be a consequence of structural abnormalities of the heart, which can indeed be serious. However, if the rhythm disturbance is the only abnormality then it can usually be controlled sufficiently that the patient can be free of symptoms. In older patients with af there is significant risk of stroke, but this too can be mitigated by treatment to reduce blood clots.
Yes. Atrial fibrillation increase the risk of stroke, which can be disabling or fatal. Strokes from af tend to be worse than non-af strokes. Additionally, if the af causes a fast pulse for a prolonged period of time, this may lead to weakening of the heart and cause heart failure. A very fast pulse, even for a short period, can precipitate a heart attack in someone with underlying blocked arteries.

Related Questions

How to know what is atrial fibrillation and is it serious?

See a doctor . Af is the commonest heart rhythm disturbance in humans. In af, the top chambers (atria) twitter and twitch instead of pumping normally. Af can be serious for some patients, but not for all. Please see your doctor, preferably a cardiologist, ideally an electrophysiologist, and they'll help you sort it out. Read more...
Atrial fibrillation. Afib is a rapid irregular heart rhythm which can decrease heart efficiency as much as 20% in some patients. It can also be associated with clotting and clots travelling around the body to cause stroke or other problems. Some people have atrial fibrillation as their normal rhythm. Talk to your dr. About it if you have it. Read more...

Help please! Is atrial fibrillation a progressive condition?

Sometimes . Af tends to progress over time in the majority of patients, but this progression is slow, often over years or even decades. Uncontrolled hypertension, other heart diseases, obstructive sleep apnea etc. Can accelerate this process. Treatment of af with medications (antiarrhythmic drugs), and treatment of the predisposing conditions, often slows or prevents progression. Read more...

I had a CT of chest done and it showed hyperinflated lungs...Which could be asthma-copd-lung disease right? Could these cause atrial fibrillation?

COPD. Not really, there is not direct correlation. However you are more likely to mat (multifocal atrial tachycardia) with lung disease. Read more...
Copd and atrial fib. Yes in advanced and untreated COPD can cause atrial fibrilation.Changes in blood gases, abnormalities in pulmonary function studies and hemodynamic changes due to pulmonary hypertension can cause a fib, but it does not happen in every case of COPD and is not very common cause of atrial fibrilation.Stop smoking if you do and follow the tratment prescribed by your doctor. Read more...