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The Link between Atrial Fibrillation and Family History

Is atrial fibrillation genetic? It can be.

Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, can happen to anyone. Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart irregularity, or cardiac arrhythmia. More than 2.5 million Americans have atrial fibrillation.

Having relatives with AFib can increase your chances of being diagnosed. Atrial fibrillation that is inherited is called familial atrial fibrillation.

Recent studies suggest that up to 30 percent of people living with AFib have a relative with the condition.

Reducing Your Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

Here’s good news: following a heart-healthy lifestyle can help you avoid or improve atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat, a rapid heartbeat or a quivering of the upper chambers of the heart, called the atria. AFib is the most common heart irregularity, or cardiac arrhythmia. Untreated AFib can lead to lead to stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

The risk factors for AFib include existing heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and heavy drinking.