Is AF Hereditary?

I was diagnosed with AF after routine knee surgery turned into a DVT and PE clots. On the weekend i was talking with my mother who also recently had issues with DVT clots as well. I discovered that she has also been dealing with an AF condition for the last 10 yrs. This got me wondering if its just coincidental or if AF is actually an hereditary issue. Does anyone have either a parent or children with this problem?

25 Replies

  • G'day Gazza,

    From posts I have seen on here over the last 6 years and from my own family  experience the answer has to be yes. Actually, I think it is more accurate to say that one may have a genetic predisposition to AF.

    In my case, it seems to be all on the paternal side. Health conditions and cause of deaths on the maternal side are all quite different. My paternal grandfather died from a series of strokes in 1964, aged 82. Nobody alive now can recall any other details.  My second cousin on my paternal side who is still alive has had AF and has had a successful ablation or so - his grandfather (cause of death now unknown) was my grandfathers brother. Get it ! Now I have AF.

    My daughter, at age 32 has had AF and hers seems to be linked to two pregnancies, the first one brought on her AF and it was subsequently controlled but returned during her 2nd pregnancy. Since she is no longer breeding there has been no return of AF. And now she has gone into super fitness mode doing Thai kick boxing. No problems. I also have 3 boys - none so far have had a diagnosis but since they are now all in their thirties, who knows what will happen in another 30 years.


  • Yes Gazza my Cardiologist sais mine is hereditory as my Father had it & I have two brothers with AF as well. Hope it all gets sorted out for you. It's ok to live with AF there could be a lot worse diseases out there to get. I'm on Meds twice a day which keeps it all mostly under control. 

    Cheers. Rob xx

  • Thanks Rob, im lucky and not suffering too many symptoms, fatigue and shortness of breath being the worst, on meds for the clot and the AF but its still only 2 tabs twice a day. Im hoping a simple CV will fix things but wont know till the clots clear. I think im lucky to be PAF as well because i can monitor it all the time ibstead of waiting for an episode.


  • I have A Flutter, my sister has either A Fib or A Flutter (not caught on an ECG yet). My mum had A Fib for years, so hereditary can be a factor.

  • Hi Gazza - At age 60 my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and AF at the same time. A female cousin on my mothers side of the family also has AF. I was diagnosed with it over ten years ago, though I believe I had symptoms long before then. Both my sister and my daughter have suffered from what they call short periods of palpitations.


  • There is certainly a link on my paternal side. My aunt and 2 cousins have AF. I have a friend with it and her 2 siblings are similarly affected. It's more than coincidence.

  • To have AF one needs a pre disposition to it. This can be genetic or acquired for example from over exercise , alcohol abuse etc. To say it is hereditary like say haemophilia would be wrong but in the same way that arthritis may  follow generations due to similar skeletal construction then if your heart has similar internal design then you may develop it. Obviously since we are all the product of two separate gene pools then you may well not  get it.

    A family with no history of AF but where one person causes their AF through their own excesses would not normally be able to pass it down.

    Since there has not to my knowledge ever been any scientific study of this it does appear to be only anecdotal evidence.

  • Thanks Bob, as seen from the replies there definately seems to be some sort genetic link or genetic pre disposition. I know this is a small sample but i may look into it further.

  • I agree Bob, but my mum, grandmother and an aunt all had it and so do I. All three uncles had it too but that was after open heart surgery 

  • My Mum and Uncle had AF x

  • My father had it brother and I have it doctor thinks it's a strong possibility so has put my daughter on blood pressure pills an effort to prevent her getting it ...even tho readings not overly high.

  • I come from a large family and it is only recently we have discovered the family connection.  It is mainly lone other words the younger members have no other predisposing factors i.e. are generally slim, moderately fit and non- smokers/light drinkers. Should scientists decide to research it we might have actual evidence, but don't think this has happened much yet. My family would make good guinea pigs because of 7 families on my father's side. Guess you need a long family chain to be sure...!!!

  • Yep me too! My Mum and Aunt and others on Maternal side. Sister has mild symptoms but nothing with the brothers yet, although. Very fit bro in Australia just had mild heart attack so obviously something with hearts and hereditary thing going on! Mum lived till nearly 88 despite AF and Dad rocking on to 96 so as others say, take ❤️. Quality of Life is the important factor to get hold of I reckon and everyone's idea is different, hence seek out best options for you.

  • My dad had AF x

  • One of my cousins has AF, it seems to run in that paternal line - a death certificate for one of my great grandmothers read pneumonia 'and arrhythmia' and several of my father's brothers died suddenly in their 50s. My paternal grandfather had a heart attack after going on military exercises in his late 50s in a heatwave (Home Guard), so goodness knows what was behind that. It's all very interesting but hard to say if it's conclusive I guess...

  • My Grandmother and my mum had it

  • I have it and my dad had it

  • My Grandmother used to have what she called ' a touch of the vapours,' ie palpitations which would probably now be diagnosed as AF. She died suddenly of a stroke at aged 63. My mother had diagnosed AF and was on Warfarin. Died at 83 from a heart attack.

    My AF caused Dilated Cardiomyopathy which can be inherited. Both my boys (in their 30's) were tested. One had an enlarged heart and episodes of 'palpitations,' one was clear.

  • my dad had it passed away at 86 he had it from the age of 55 i got it at 52 i will be happy if i am here till then or maybe a few years more lol

  • I would also get checked out for Factor V Leiden, that is also hereditary...two out of my three kids have it. I found out I had it when I got an unexpected blood clot in the leg on a long car journey.

  • My dad passed with it, although it was put down to old age. My eldest sister was 69, two years ago when she went and now it's my turn, but it's skipped 3 between and one younger than me. So??? 

  • It was listed on my mum's death certificate. I knew she was on Warfarin for clots but wasn't aware that she had it previously.


  • My grandfather, father, uncle and cousin had/have it and one of my daughters has mentioned palpitations so I won't be surprised if she develops AF as well.

  • My mother has it.  She is 95 this year, and on no medication due to her age.

  • I was speaking with my brother recently, we are all thats left of our family, and we both realised that mum's "funny heart" was probably AF.  She used to regularly take her own pulse and refer to her jumpy heart. However she was a nervous sort of person and I think everyone (including herself and her GP) never looked beyond that.   She died at 65 of ovarian cancer.  Her mother also died at 65, from heart failure, and also had palpitations which were put down to nerves.   It makes me sad for them that they were so misunderstood.   No wonder they were always taking their own pulse and worrying....they must have been terrified.

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