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Cardiac Arrhythmia: Irregular Beating of the Heart

A person with cardiac arrhythmia will experience irregular heartbeat. It could be slower or faster than the normal heart rate. Don't take this condition for granted. Cardiac arrhythmia can be a life-threatening condition that can lead to cardiac arrest or death.

An average adult heart rate is around 60 beats per minute. At most, it could reach up to 100 beats. As we age, our heart rate changes. A younger person will naturally have a faster heartbeat compared to that of an older person. Moreover, our activities can also change our heart rate. For instance, our heart rate increases when we engage in exercise or any physical activity. But when resting, our heart rate lowers.

There are several types of cardiac arrhythmia.

In sinus arrhythmia, the heart beats at a moderately fast rate. This usually happens during strenuous exercise or workouts. On the other hand, tachycardia refers to a heart rate of over 100 beats per minute. If there are problems with the ventricles of the heart, one can experience tachycardia. This could manifest as heart palpitation — the pounding sensation caused by fast heartbeats. Take note that overly fast tachycardia can be life-threatening and should not be taken for granted.

Bradycardia refers to slowed heart rhythms. A person with this condition has a heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute. Though this condition is not life-threatening, it may call for an implantation of a heart device called a pacemaker.

Lastly, fibrillation is the quivering movement of the heart chambers and may be a symptom of a more serious condition.

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Welcome to our UpToDate library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

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