Fast Five Quiz: Atrial Fibrillation and Acute Coronary Syndrome

Sandeep K. Goyal, MD


September 17, 2020

Figure 2. Atrial fibrillation is a common type of arrhythmia resulting in rapid and irregular heart and pulse rates. The illustration depicts the electrical nerve impulses causing rapid and chaotic beating of the heart when the atria fibrillate. Fibrillation may affect the atrial chambers or the ventricles independently.

Studies have shown that AF dramatically increases the risk for MI among patients younger than 80 years. This effect does not appear to be significant among older patients. Among patients 67 years and older who have new-onset AF, comorbidities appear to influence ACS outcomes.

Women with AF have a high risk of developing ACS, as shown in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study and in an analysis of the Women's Health Initiative Study, both of which showed higher rates of MI among women with AF compared with men with AF. However, the risk for MI was only significantly higher in the first 5 years following an AF diagnosis in women.

Several studies have shown a statistically significant increased risk for MI among Black individuals with AF vs White individuals with MI.

Learn more about risk factors for ACS.


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