Is high blood pressure associated with atrial fibrillation?
Dr. Chandrasekhar Vasamreddy, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

High blood pressure is an important cause of atrial fibrillation. High blood pressure can cause changes in the heart that can predispose the upper chambers to go into atrial fibrillation.

Dr. Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Practitioner

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.

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 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.

Dr. Andrew J. Brenyo, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

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.

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Continue Learning about Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation -- the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia -- causes an irregular heartbeat that can increase your risk for stroke and heart failure. Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) results from faulty signals produced by ...

the heart's electrical system, causing the upper portion of the heart to fibrillate, or contract rapidly and irregularly. AFib doesn't cause noticeable symptoms for everyone. For those who do experience symptoms, heart palpitations are common along with feeling weak, dizzy and tired. Learn more about atrial fibrillation with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.