Atrial fibrillation (AF) in the elderly occurs as a consequence of cardiovascular aging and an age related increase of comorbidity. Several predisposing factors for AF have been identified for the overall AF population. Most of them, cardiovascular disease in particular, play a role in younger and older patients. The longer time period during which these risk factors can cause structural changes that ultimately lead to AF may, at least in part, explain the association between age and AF. In addition, less well defined age-related changes in cellular electrophysiologic properties and structure predispose to AF in the elderly.