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Can Atrial Fibrillation be hereditary

This may have come up before but does anyone know if there has been any study into Atrial Fibrillation being hereditary?

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I don't know of any study but I do know of 2 families where its presence is more than a coincidence.

A friend has just been diagnosed with it. Her elder brother and sister both have it.

My aunt had it and 2 cousins are diagnosed with it, all on my Dad's line. I cannot ascertain if it was present elsewhere as they all died young.

It has been discussed on this site a while ago and others confirmed a link.

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I don't think any study is actually needed Bernard. AF needs various things to happen. You need a pre-disposition and an original trigger. That pre-disposition can be genetic i e the way you are built which could be hereditary or it can be acquired for example from over exercise as in endurance athletes or fighter pilots. Young people (and older ones) may experience AF in isolated cases from binge drinking which if avoided may never be repeated.

Once you have that pre-disposition anything or nothing can set it off. Obviously we know that due to what is termed atrial re-modelling the more you have it the more you will get it. Age also has a big part to play as the incidence of AF increases markedly as we get older with I think one in five having it by age 80. Anecdotally we know of old Aunty Mabel and her palpitations but the sad truth is that until about 20 years ago not much was known or even worse DONE about AF and we were just told to get on with life. The link with stroke was not recognised until about 2007 so there is little in the way of long term data available.

Since we all react differently to AF with a wide range of symptoms and impact on QOL it is hard to see how knowing that you may expect AF at some point in the future would be helpful. Usual caveat--personal opinion only for that last bit.

Bob

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Done a lot of research but not found anything. However pre 2000 records were not kept re this like they are now. BobD's comments are valid. Even today (say in last 5 years) some GPs just say it's one of those things just get on and live with it. You'll find a few people on this forum have been told that. Furthermore many have asymptomatic AF including persistent or permanent. There are also quite a few on the forum who have multiple relations with AF.

At the end of the day it will probably be another 25 years before this is properly validated and most of us won't be here to see the results!!!

My comment is if somebody has AF then all their siblings, children and close relations need to keep a check as to whether they have AF.

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For previous generations, palpitations were something to be ignored - indeed in many cases, expected. My mother was sent home to cope in the 1960's because it was assumed that she was panicking as nothing could be found wrong with her. She had a mild stroke in the late sixties so I now wonder if it was AF but the medical science didn't exist to link them until the next millenium!! That brings home how recent the advances in understanding really are and probably why no studies have been done apparently.

PeterWh's last paragraph in the post above is SO important - hound your relatives to check their pulse. Mine are sick of me.😇

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I'm not aware of a specific study. Sorry ! What I can contribute is that there appears to be a genetic predisposition to AF on my fathers side of the family.

My paternal grandfather died in 1964 from a series of strokes. Nobody in the family who is still alive knows the cause of this. I have AF. My 2nd cousin (on my fathers side) has had AF and been successfully ablated. My daughter has AF but hers is linked to body stresses during two pregnancies. So long as she isn't pregnant she has no AF ! Whether it materialises again as she ages we don't know yet. Interestingly my 2nd cousins grandfather and mine were brothers. Don't know the cause of death of 2nd cousins grandfather.

John

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My Mom suffered palpitations and also diagnosed with thyroid disease. She took medication for her thyroid but died of a fatal stroke in 2000. I often wonder if she had AFib and I remember her saying, I just don't feel good, and as of most Mothers she didn't want to pursue help. She always made sure that we went to Dr when not feeling well but when she was ill she would march on!

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Haha, funny you should ask. I and two siblings and a neice and two nephews have been diagnosed, all but two ablated. Yeah, I'd say we have a genetic predisposition.

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Yes AF can be hereditary. There are a number of studies on this including:

ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/f...

- up to 30 percent of all people with atrial fibrillation may have a history of the condition in their family.

and ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

- having a parent with AF approximately doubles the 4 year risk of getting AF. Also in a nationwide study in Iceland, 80% of people with AF were related to someone else with AF.

My father and mother both had AF, though my brother doesn't.

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I don't know with humans, but I do know that with sheep and cattle (and we're not that much different) everything is inherited to an extent, or at least can be.

But having said that, no-one else in my family has had AF (yet) except maybe my dad. Or maybe they did decades ago and we just didn't know what it was?

Koll

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Yes... there is a genetic link, very noticeable in my family, although relevant research is still quite limited in its scope. The registrar who visited me the morning after my complex ablation asked me two questions. Was this my first ablation? and was it in the family? [yes and yes...!]

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In my opinion, I believe that it is. My dad died of left ventricular heart failure, mom with an aneurysm. An uncle and aunt on mom's side. My eldest sister died with AF and other complications and I have AF. However, there is another 4 siblings left. It seems that there may be something said that the ones of us with heart trouble also lead very active lifestyle compared to the others. Then, if it comes you've still got this forum to read. Dave

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Yes. My grandmother died of a stroke at 62 after 'palpitations. My mum had AF. When I was diagnosed my cardiologist strongly suggested that my sons, my sister and her children were tested.

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Thank you all very much. Far more helpful responses than I expected. Looks like it is far more family orientated than I thought (hoped). Must emphasize to my children and grandchildren the need for regular monitoring. In my case I may have had it for years as I had no symptoms whatsoever and A/F was only discovered by chance when my wife took my pulse after watching a medical program on TV. Even now I am one of the lucky ones without any symptoms and only regular monitoring with my blood pressure machine shows that it is still present.

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Could be? My Uncle has PAF like me. Dave

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My mother developed AFIB in her 40's. I suspect it was paroxysmal, but back then she just called it "fibrillation." My older sister developed it at age 56, and I was diagnosed with it at age 62. Sure looks like it is hereditary in our family! I wonder about others.

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Well you can change your Levis but you can't change you genes. (Ye)).

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