Atrial Fibrillation

Synonyms: AF, A-Fib

Basic overview

  • Atrial fibrillation is a common abnormal heart rhythm affecting about 2% of the overall population and becomes increasingly more common with age, where is can affect >14% of people over 80 years old.

  • AF is characterised by rapid and disorganised electrical impulses from the atria (top chambers of the heart). These disorganised impulses are conducted to the ventricles (bottom chambers of the heart) which cause the irregular heart beat.
  • Aside from the symptoms listed below, AF increases the risk of a stroke. Aside from increasing age, other conditions such as high blood pressure, heart failure and diabetes increase the risk of a stroke. Your doctor can use a special scoring system (CHADS2 or CHADS2VASc score) to calculate your annual stroke risk
  • AF is associated with other conditions such as obesity, an over-active thyroid gland, high blood pressure, rheumatic and valvular heart disease.


  • Palpitations, breathlessness, effort intolerance and dizziness. Younger patients are more likely to be symptomatic


  • Medications are often required to treat this condition. If your risk of stroke is high, blood thinners will be recommended. If you have a high heart rate or symptoms from the irregular beats then medications to control this will be used in addition (common medications include: beta-blockers, diltiazem, sotalol, flecainide and amiodarone) – your doctor will discuss the risks and benefit of each medication and tailor a regimen that best suits you.

Our Locations

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Cardiology Tasmania has 5 specialist centres located in Derwent Park, Huonville, Oatland, Swansea and Rokeby. As well as our fixed locations, our cardiology specialists and consultants travel to regional and remote areas to ensure all patients have access to cardiology services regardless of where they live.
Call Us:
0439 195 660
Derwent Park
  • Northcare Health Centre, 254 Main Road, Derwent Park, TAS

  • 62728869
  • Huon Valley Health Centre, 85 Main Road, Huonville, TAS
  • 62642800
  • Midlands Multipurpose Health, 13 Church Street, Oatlands, TAS
  • 61350540
  • Swansea General Practice: 37 Wellington Street, Swansea, TAS
  • 62578205
  • Knopwood Medical Centre: 46 South Arm Road, Rokeby, TAS
  • 62471019

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