A heart arrhythmia (also called dysrhythmia) is an irregular or abnormal heartbeat. Heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) occur when the electrical impulses in your heart that coordinates your heartbeats don't work properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. The effect of these electrical impulses on your heart can be seen with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) evaluation.
The Joint Committee of the AHA/ACC (American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology) recommends that everyone over 40 years of age should be examined for potential heart arrhythmias. In United States, India, and China alone there are ~849 million people at risk of heart arrhythmias.
Most people have occasional, irregular heartbeats that may feel like a fluttering or racing heart. Some people who feel arrhythmias don't have a serious problem, while others who have life-threatening arrhythmias have no symptoms at all.
Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is one type of arrhythmia that is deadly. It occurs when the heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses. This causes pumping chambers in your heart (the ventricles) to quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood. Without an effective heartbeat, blood pressure plummets, cutting off blood supply to your vital organs. A person with ventricular fibrillation will collapse within seconds and soon won't be breathing or have a pulse
Heart arrhythmia treatment can often control or eliminate irregular heartbeats. In addition, because troublesome heart arrhythmias are often made worse, or are even caused, by a weak or damaged heart, you may be able to reduce your arrhythmia risk by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Certain arrhythmias may increase your risk of developing conditions such as:
There are many different types of arrhythmia’s including:
Arrhythmias can be caused by:
Arrhythmia risk factors can be divided into two categories; those that you can control and those that cannot be controlled:
Non-controllable risk factors
Controllable risk factors
Your doctor may use one or more of the following tests to help them determine if you have a heart arrhythmia: