Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition in which control of heart rhythm is taken away from the normal sinus node pacemaker by rapid activity in different areas within the upper chambers (atria) of the heart. Atria beat out of coordination with the lower chambers or ventricles. The condition may have no symptoms but when symptoms do present, they include palpations, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
AF is the most common cardiac rhythm disturbance and contributes substantially to cardiac morbidity and mortality. Atrial fibrillation affects more than 33 million people worldwide. In the developing world, about 0.6% of males and 0.4% of females are affected. AF and atrial flutter resulted in 193,300 deaths in 2015 (AHA, NIH).