Heart Arrhythmias: Common and Potentially Serious
Arrhythmias are disorders of the regular rhythmic beating of the heart. They can occur in a healthy heart and can be of minimal consequence, but they also may indicate a serious problem and lead to heart disease, stroke, or sudden cardiac death. There are many types of arrhythmias, and they can take many forms. Generally, they are increasingly frequent as people age. For example, roughly 2.2 million Americans are living with atrial fibrillation and approximately 9 percent of people older than age 80 have this condition.
In the United States, more than 4 million people suffer from recurrent arrhythmias that warrant a physician's care.