What is atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. It may be asymptomatic or cause symptoms such as palpitations, lightheadedness, chest pain or heart failure and it also increases the risk of having a stroke. It is linked to several cardiac causes such as coronary artery disease and valvular heart disease (particularly mitral stenosis or regurgitation), lung diseases, hyperthyroidism, and excessive alcohol intake but may occur in otherwise normal hearts. It is classified as either paroxysmal (lasting less than 7 days), persistent (lasting more than 7 days), or permanent. It is often diagnosed on an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) and if found a full workup is performed to try and identify the cause.