Atrial Fibrillation

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2023 but I suspect that i had it for some time before being diagnosed. Late last year I was hospitalised with Atrial Fibrillation and had to have Cardioversion to put my heart back into normal rhythm. I have noticed recently that some other people with Parkinson’s have mentioned in their posts that they have also had Atrial Fibrillation. Can anyone tell me if their is a connection between the two?

Good morning Alan3 … Just like you I was diagnosed in 2023 [Positive Datscan].
I also spent 2 days in hospital with New Atrial Fibrillation 3 months ago. I was due to have Cardioversion but I guess there is a long waiting list. Instead I am on Beta Blockers & Blood thinners.

I have a few elderly bowls friends who have had A-Fib but do not have Parkinson’s.

is there a connection between Parkinson’ss disease & atrial fibrillation

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In the case-control study, authors concluded that newly diagnosed PD patients were significantly comorbid with AF (OR = 1.15, 95%CI = 1.04–21.28). Elderly (≥65 years old) and women with PD were more likely to have atrial fibrillation.12 May 2021

So yes Alan there seems to be a connection between A Fib & Parkinson’s. If you have Parkinson’s you are more likely to get A Fib as well.

Aka A double whammy.

Best wishes

Hi Steve2, thanks for your reply. I am on Beta Blockers following a Heart Bypass twenty five years ago and I am now on Blood thinners as well. As far as I know, I will always be on them now.

@Alan3 my dad has PD and AF, he also has a very low heart rate of 54 BPM.

Hi KraftyKat. There does seem to be some sort of connection between the two but neither my Neurologist or the Hospital mentioned it. My blood pressure before I had the Cardioversion was about the same as your Dad’s.

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Good evening Alan3 … I also have a diagnosed & test confirmation that I have Peripheral Neuropathy as well as A Fib & Atypical Parkinson’s. Apparently up to 55% of people with Parkinson’s have Neuropathy. We are not lucky are we ?

I have a BP monitor that also gives Heart Rate Beats Per Minute. my pre A-Fib BPM was around 80. When I had the A Fib episode I went up to 185 BPM, plus incredibly erratic, up & down 20 BPM & I was setting off the alarm on my bedside monitor all night… The two lots of drugs & the following afternoon my heart was so quiet I could not hear it.

I did have an ECG check up recently & I was very low around 45 BPM & now I am
mid 60’s BPM.

Best wishes

So R has a regular heart rate (according to his Fitbit) of 54, average resting heart rate of 49. I keep nagging him to get it checked out but he says that is normal for him. Is it something I need to raise at our next appointment?

A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute . Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute.

Hi RachRob … If R had an A Fib problem he’d be phoning 111/999 in an instant.
My attack was one of the most frightening events in my life. You know you are having an attack. You do not need your Fitbit to tell you.


I was diagnosed with HCM (hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy) 2017, recently been told to go on blood thinners, my BP has been low for many years as I have been doing intense exercise for many years.

Hello sorry to hear you’ve a double whammy. It does seem that there are comorbidities associated with PD, like other diseases such as Diabetes. Whether AF is a direct link is an interesting one and I wonder where age comes into the equation. My husband has PD diagnosed 12 years ago. He is 80 and whilst having an orthopaedic operation approx 5 years ago the anaesthetist decided he has AF, yet further cardiology examinations haven’t replicated this. In the meantime he takes Apixaban & Asprin to thin his blood. He does have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He is a permanent wheelchair user because of failed orthopaedic operations so excess weight is also a problem.
PD & direct link to AF probably another part of the PD story that requires further investigation!

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post mortem studies have revealed that parkinson’s victims seem to have[*] lost some of their neurons that innervate the heart compared to controls. these are neurons that are based in the sympathetic (if i am remembering correctly, it might be parasympathetic) ganglions, so they are not based in the brain nor spine. so it is no surprise to see irregularities in heart control.

[*]: i say “seem to have” because the neurons in question might not have died but might instead have stopped expressing the marker chemicals that the studies were looking for. but if that is the case, these neurons were likely not functioning properly.

I’m seeing a transition physio who works on parkinsons people apparently there are only a Handful that do this she works on your cardiovascular breathing techniques etc. I read somewhere that alot of people pass away from breathing, eating and pneumonia if I’m right read somewhere but since seeing physio my breathing, balance and walking as improved alot. If we didn’t have enough to put up with it.please correct me if I’m wrong

I remember reading that levadopa meds may affect heart rhythm in some
People? This may be one cause of heart rhythm problems in pd :thinking: