Epstein Barr Virus and Atrial Fibrillation
A Causal Link?
Objective: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is very frequent and clinically significant arrhythmia. The incidence of atrial fibrillation is continuously rising. Meanwhile several risk factors for AF development have been identified but the etiology is not cleared.
Methods: A systematic review and re-analysis of studies which investigated the relationship between AF and some risk factors was conducted. The method of the conditio sine qua non relationship, the method of the conditio per quam relationship, the method of the exclusion relationship and the mathematical formula of the causal relationship k were used to proof the hypothesis. Significance was indicated by a p-value of less than 0.05.
Results: The studies analyzed were able to provide direct and indirect evidence that AF is caused by a process of inflammation while a direct identification of the factor causing AF was not possible. Still, it appears to be very probable that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the cause of AF.
Conclusion: Atrial fibrillation (AF) appears to be caused by an EBV inflammatory process.
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