Question

Atrial Fibrillation

Is high blood pressure associated with atrial fibrillation?

A Answers (3)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    YES! If your blood pressure is through the roof and you’re not doing much about it, chances are, you’ll develop atrial fibrillation (AF). In fact, some experts cite poorly controlled blood pressure as the single biggest risk factor for AF.

    Uncontrolled high blood pressure seems to cause changes in the heart’s structure that make it more likely to develop rapid, erratic heartbeat, the hallmark of AF.

    So make sure you get your blood pressure checked regularly and get it to 115/75. If your BP stays higher than this, please let your doctor know and do discuss adding some BP medications. They come in all types and sizes, and you can talk with your doc about what side effects you want (more libido, less libido). There are enough drug classes for treating high BP that you can get just about any side effect you want.

    But do get treatment for it!! If you have high blood pressure, take all medicine your doctor prescribes as religiously as you can, and ask about how stress management, diet, and exercise can help bring your numbers under control.

  • AAndrew J. Brenyo, MD, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, answered on behalf of Greenville Health System
    Yes. High blood pressure is one of the major factors in establishing a favorable environment for atrial fibrillation to occur. Obesity, sleep apnea, alcohol consumption, heart failure, and familial predilection to atrial fibrillation also play important roles in the onset and maintenance of atrial fibrillation. Generally there are one or more modifiable risk factors for atrial fibrillation in every patient that, if corrected, will result in a dramatic improvement or complete resolution of the arrhythmia. 

    The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
  • ADouglas Severance, Family Medicine, answered
    Over time, high blood pressure can damage the heart's electrical system, resulting in the irregular heartbeat of atrial fibrillation. Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of the arteries. To help prevent damage to your heart and blood vessels, your blood pressure reading should be below 120/80 mm Hg most of the time. If your blood pressure reading is 140/90 mm Hg or higher, you have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Your doctor can treat your hypertension with medications and lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. See your doctor if you need more information on high blood pressure and how to control it.

    Even though high blood pressure can cause atrial fibrillation, it often does its damage in silence, without symptoms. Over time, high blood pressure can cause damage to the heart and its electrical system, which can lead to a rapid, irregular heart rate. While you may feel these abnormal heart rhythms associated with atrial fibrillation, only a blood pressure test can tell you and your doctor if you have hypertension or high blood pressure.
Did You See?  Close
If my mother has atrial fibrillation, am I at risk for developing it?