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    Atrial Fibrillation - Cause

    Atrial fibrillation is a problem with the heart's electrical system.

    When something goes wrong with this system, it's usually because of other health problems that are causing wear and tear on the heart or making it hard for the heart to do its job. Sometimes it's because of lifestyle habits—such as smoking or heavy drinking—that are hard on the heart.

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    Problems that affect the heart's structure

    Atrial fibrillation is often caused by a health problem that directly affects the heart, including:

    Other health problems

    Atrial fibrillation can also be caused by other health problems, including:

    • Hyperthyroidism.
    • Lung disease, such as COPD.
    • Having heart surgery or other open-chest surgery.

    Atrial fibrillation caused by a condition that is treatable, such as pneumonia or hyperthyroidism, often goes away when that condition is treated.

    In some cases, doctors cannot find the cause of atrial fibrillation.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 5, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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