Other Triggers for Atrial Fibrillation

Surgeries That May Cause Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation can also occur in people who have had surgery on their heart or lungs. Surgeries that can result in atrial fibrillation include:
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • Correction of heart defects
  • Heart transplant.

Can Atrial Fibrillation Be Caused by Other Medical Conditions?

Other health conditions that can lead to atrial fibrillation include:
  • Disorders of the thyroid gland
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot blocks off one of the arteries in the lungs
  • Low levels of oxygen in the blood because of chronic lung problems, such as asthma and emphysema
  • Diabetes
  • Electrolyte imbalance, which occurs when your body isn't able to control the levels of certain chemicals in your body, like calcium and potassium
  • Autonomic dysfunction, which is when the autonomic, or involuntary, part of the nervous system doesn't control the heart properly.


In otherwise healthy people, atrial fibrillation can be caused by binge drinking or long-term, excessive drinking. Going through withdrawal from alcohol can also lead to atrial fibrillation. Both overuse of and withdrawal from alcohol can cause someone who has paroxysmal atrial fibrillation to develop a more severe form of the condition.

Smoking and Stimulant Chemicals

Atrial fibrillation can also be caused by smoking and the use of stimulant chemicals, such as caffeine, cocaine, and those found in some over-the-counter decongestant medications.
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Atrial Fibrillation Information

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