How common is atrial fibrillation?

Joan Haizlip, MSN
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Atrial fibrillation is a common heart arrhythmia. Over 2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation. It can occur in both men and women and is more common with advancing age. 

Atrial fibrillation is the most common kind of heart arrhythmia, which is a problem with heart rate or rhythm. Over 2 million in the United States have atrial fibrillation, which is about 1 in every 150 people. By 2025, an estimated 3.3 million people will be hospitalized with atrial fibrillation. If you think that you may have atrial fibrillation, talk to your doctor.

Dr. Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Practitioner

More than two million Americans have atrial fibrillation, in which the small upper chambers of the heart (the atria) have an irregular, quickened, and chaotic rhythm. It affects both men and women, and is more common with advancing age. The underlying cause is often coronary heart disease or heart failure, but there are many other potential causes.

The older one gets, the more common atrial fibrillation (AF) is. The Framingham Heart study shows that of men and women without AF at 40 years old, 26% of men and 23% of women by the age of 80 will have AF.
Dr. Andrew J. Brenyo, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in the world. Currently it affects approximately 8 million patients in the United States with projections up to 20 million patients by the year 2050. These estimates are likely on the low side as asymptomatic atrial fibrillation (occurring without any symptoms or patient knowledge) is 8 times more common than symptomatic atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is currently at epidemic proportions in the United States and it is important to seek care if you do sense irregularity in your pulse or palpitations as these may be caused by atrial fibrillation.

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.

Dr. Audrey K. Chun, MD
Geriatric Medicine Specialist
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a serious health issue that decreases quality of life and significantly increases the risk of stroke. About 160,000 new cases of AFib are diagnosed each year in the United States, and older adults are at particular risk. Previous research has identified a number of risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

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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.