Difference Between AFIB and Tachycardia (With Table)

The heart is one of the most vital organs of the human body. One must take care of their heart for living a healthy and long life. Various heart diseases may cause trouble to people who lie in the age group of 30-70 years. Atrial fibrillation or afib and tachycardia are two abnormalities of the heart rhythm.

AFIB vs Tachycardia

The difference between afib and tachycardia is that afib is a heart condition in which there is an irregular heartbeat that may eventually lead to blood clots, heart failures, and strokes, whereas tachycardia is a heart condition in which the normal impulses that control the rate of one’s heart pumping action is disrupted.

Afib or atrial fibrillation is the rapid or irregular heart rate that can significantly increase the chances of strokes, heart failure, and other types of heart diseases. The major symptoms of Afib include shortness of breath, sweating, fatigue, and heart palpitations.

Tachycardia is a heart condition in which the rate of heartbeat is abnormally high (100 beats per minute). This may happen due to an increased pumping rate in one of the heart chambers or even in both chambers. The efficiency of decreases with the increase in heart rate.

Comparison Table Between AFIB and Tachycardia

Parameters of ComparisonAFIBTachycardia
MeaningAfib is a heart condition that is characterized by continuous, fast, and irregular heartbeat.Tachycardia is a heart condition that is characterized by an abnormally high heart rate.
Contraction of heart musclesThe heart muscles in the case of afib or atrial fibrillation do not contract at regular intervals.The heart muscles in the case of tachycardia contract regularly.
SymptomsThe major symptoms of afib are palpitations, fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath.The major symptoms of tachycardia are confusion, chest pain or discomfort, and low blood pressure.
CausesThe main causes of afib may be coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and lung diseases.The main causes of tachycardia may be excessive smoking and drinking, hypertension, and electrolyte imbalances.
PreventionSome of the ways to prevent afib are eating a healthy diet, avoiding smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.Some of the ways to prevent tachycardia are eating the right quantity of food, avoiding smoking, and doing regular exercise.

What is AFIB?

Afib results in the chaotic and irregular beating of the upper two chambers of the heart without any coordination with the lower chambers of the heart. Atrial fibrillation may seriously affect a person who may require proper treatment. It may not be life-threatening but may require proper monitoring and treatment. It may develop major clots in the upper chamber of the heart, which may spread to other parts of the body as well.

The major symptoms of Afib are:-

  • Fatigue and weakness are two major symptoms of afib.
  • Chest pain and reduced capability of exercise are also some symptoms of afib.
  • Weakness and dizziness are also two indications of afib.

There are various types of atrial fibrillation like occasional afib, persistent afib, permanent afib, and long-standing persistent afib. These types differ in intensity, timings, and nature. If you are experiencing symptoms of Atrial fibrillation, then you should immediately fix an appointment with your doctor and get the necessary checkups done.

The main causes of afib or atrial fibrillation are:-

  • One of the major reasons for afib may be increased blood pressure or any sort of coronary artery disease.
  • Various types of metabolical imbalances and an overactive thyroid gland may also be a reason for atrial fibrillation.
  • If an individual has previously suffered from heart disease and undergone heart surgery may also be prone to afib.

What is Tachycardia?

It is a heart condition where the rate is abnormally high that is around 100 beats per minute. Our blood circulation will come down initially if the heart pumps quickly and at a faster rate. Persistent tachycardia may result in a heart attack.

The main symptoms of tachycardia are:-

  • If an individual suddenly faints down on a regular basis, then he may suffer from tachycardia.
  • Hypotension or low blood pressure may also indicate the chance of tachycardia.
  • Constant shortness of breath and palpitations also indicate the chance of tachycardia in an individual.

The main causes of tachycardia are:-

  • One of the major causes of tachycardia may be excessive smoking and drinking.
  • Hypertension and chronic stress are also the main reasons for tachycardia.
  • An individual who has a high electrolyte imbalance may also suffer from tachycardia.

The diagnosis and treatment of tachycardia include a physical examination and also the analysis of the patient’s previous health history. The other tests include Chest XRAY, Full blood count, Thyroid function test, and Serum electrolyte levels. The options of treatment are based on the root cause, age of the patient, and overall health.

Main Differences Between AFIB and Tachycardia

  1. AFIB is a heart condition that is characterized by rapid and continuous heartbeat, whereas tachycardia is a heart condition characterized by a high abnormal heart rate.
  2. The heart muscles, in the case of afib, do not contract on a regular basis. On the other hand, in tachycardia, the heart muscles contract regularly.
  3. High blood pressure may be the main reason for afib, whereas low blood pressure may be a reason for tachycardia.
  4. The main symptoms of afib are palpitations, fatigue, and dizziness, whereas the symptoms of tachycardia are shortness of breath and low blood pressure.
  5. One of the ways to prevent afib is to avoid smoking and drinking, whereas for preventing tachycardia is to exercise regularly.


Afib and tachycardia are two heart conditions with different effects and treatments. A person who generally wants to avoid such types of problems must exercise regularly, must not drink and smoke and eat healthy food to have a healthy heart.

If you have symptoms of any of these problems, you must immediately approach your doctor and get the necessary treatments and tests done. This protects you from any kind of health problem and will also eventually save your life as threats to life in heart diseases are comparatively higher.


  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/405813
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMcp051145
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