What is the relationship between comorbid cardiovascular diseases and atrial fibrillation (Afib) (AF)?

Updated: Apr 09, 2019
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Answer

AF shares strong associations with other cardiovascular diseases, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease (CAD), valvular heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension. [17] These factors have been termed upstream risk factors, but the relationship between comorbid cardiovascular disease and AF is incompletely understood and more complex than this terminology implies. The exact mechanisms by which cardiovascular risk factors predispose to AF are not understood fully but are under intense investigation. Catecholamine excess, hemodynamic stress, atrial ischemia, atrial inflammation, metabolic stress, and neurohumoral cascade activation are all purported to promote AF.


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