Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) and increased the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with AF. However, the pathophysiological link between hypertension and AF is unclear. Nevertheless, this can be explained by the hemodynamic changes of the left atrium secondary to long standing hypertension, resulting in elevated left atrium pressure and subsequently left atrial enlargement. Moreover, the activation of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) activation in patients with hypertension induces left atrial fibrosis and conduction block in the left atrium, resulting in the development of AF. Accordingly, recent studies have shown that effective blockage of RAAS by angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor antagonist may be effective in both primary and secondary prevention of AF in patients with hypertension, although with controversies. In addition, optimal antithrombotic therapy, blood pressure control as well as rate control for AF are key to the management of patients with AF.
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The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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Lau, YF., Yiu, KH., Siu, CW. et al. Hypertension and atrial fibrillation: epidemiology, pathophysiology and therapeutic implications. J Hum Hypertens 26, 563–569 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/jhh.2011.105
- atrial fibrillation
- renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system
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