Arrhythmias

Arrhythmias (or dysrhythmias) are problems that affect the electrical system of the heart muscle, producing abnormal heart rhythms. They can cause the heart to pump less effectively

A number of factors can contribute to arrhythmias. They include coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, excessive use of alcohol or caffeine, drug abuse and stress.

A heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute is called bradycardia. Physically active people often have a resting heart rate slower than 60 beats per minute. For them, this isn't abnormally slow.

Rapid heart beating, called tachycardia or tachyarrhythmia, can produce palpitations, rapid heart action, chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or near fainting if the heart beats too fast to circulate blood effectively.

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4469

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