4. “Is Atrial Fibrillation a prelude to a heart attack?”
In general, no, A-Fib is not like a heart attack.
A heart attack is a physical problem with your heart muscles or heart functions. For example, a blocked artery may result in what is called a “myocardial infarction” in which part of the heart tissue actually dies due to a lack of blood.
Conversely, A-Fib is primarily an electrical or rhythm problem, though it may be related to other heart problems like hypertension and Mitral Valve disease. For more about the physiology of A-Fib, see our Overview of Atrial Fibrillation.
However, A-Fib untreated over a long period of time could eventually stretch and weaken your heart, and possibly lead to heart malfunction and a heart attack.
Last updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2015