ANSWERS: 1
  • An arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) occurs when the heart beats too fast, too slow or irregularly because the electrical impulses that make the heartbeat aren't functioning correctly. According to medicinenet.com, more than 850,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized due to arrhythmia every year. Fortunately, most are not serious.

    Types

    There are many types of arrhythmia. Some, like premature atrial contractions, are harmless and do not need treatment; while premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) can be due to heart disease and should be evaluated.

    Causes

    Causes of arrhythmia include coronary artery disease, electrolyte imbalances, heart injury due to a heart attack or changes in the heart muscle. Arrhythmia can also be a part of the healing process following heart surgery.

    Changes in Structure

    Coronary artery disease (heart disease) is when the arteries that provide the heart with blood and oxygen become blocked. Other structural changes to the heart, such as leaky heart valves, can cause arrhythmia.

    Lifestyle

    Other causes of arrhythmia include smoking, alcohol, drug use and caffeine consumption. Also, stress, an overactive thyroid and even certain medications can cause arrhythmia.

    Treatment

    Treatment depends on the type of arrhythmia. Sometimes treatment is not necessary, while in other cases medications, lifestyle changes and surgery are options.

    Source:

    Mayo Clinic

    Medicinenet.com

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