4 doctors weighed in:
Is atrial fibrillation a serious condition? My friend is 45 and has it.
4 doctors weighed in

Dr. Claude Brachfeld
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
2 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Claude Brachfeld
Dr. Claude Brachfeld
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Dr. Jason Rubenstein
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Jason Rubenstein
Dr. Jason Rubenstein
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