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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can atrial fibrillation damage the heart in any way?

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  • 18

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    Dr David O'Donnell

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    A graduate of the University of Melbourne Medical School in 1993, Dr David O’Donnell was the recipient of 9 undergraduate awards including the Association of … View Profile

    We certainly know that atrial fibrillation over a considerable period of time can lead to heart muscle weakness. It can damage the bottom, or pumping chambers of the heart simply because the heart is beating too quickly. In addition, we can develop changes in the atria themselves, because they're not contracting efficiently. The atria can get bigger and larger and this can lead to problems with the mitral valve. So yes, atrial fibrillation can damage the heart, particularly when it's not adequately controlled.

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