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Irregular heartbeat

Cardiac dysrhythmia (also known as arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat) is any of a large and heterogeneous group of conditions in which there is abnormal electrical activity in the heart. The heartbeat may be too fast or too slow, and may be regular or irregular. A heart beat that is too fast is called tachycardia and a heart beat that is too slow is called bradycardia. Although many arrhythmias are not life-threatening, some can cause cardiac arrest.

Source: Wikipedia

What causes it?

The most common causes of irregular heartbeat are atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Other possible causes, such as heart failure, are more rare.

What symptoms are related?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with irregular heartbeat, 57% report having shortness of breath, 55% report having sharp chest pain, and 48% report having dizziness.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with irregular heartbeat often receive electrocardiogram, hematologic tests, complete blood count, radiographic imaging procedure, kidney function tests, plain x-ray, glucose measurement and cardiac enzymes measurement .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with irregular heartbeat include diltiazem, adenosine, sotalol, flecainide, propafenone, methimazole, ibutilide, bismuth subsalicylate (pepto-bismol), cholestyramine resin (questran), carbon dioxide, aminophylline / amobarbital / ephedrine, nedocromil and thyrotropin alfa (usp) (thyrogen) .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for irregular heartbeat include age 75+ years.

Age

< 1 years
0.1x
1-4 years
0.1x
5-14 years
0.3x
15-29 years
0.9x
30-44 years
1.0x
45-59 years
1.2x
60-74 years
1.5x
75+ years
1.7x

Sex

Male
1.1x
Female
0.9x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
0.7x
Hispanic
0.5x
White
1.3x
Other
0.6x
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