Aging is a risk factor for heart disease including arrhythmia which is an irregular heart rhythm

March 31, 2014

Aging is a risk factor for heart disease including arrhythmia which is an irregular heart rhythm

The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation (AF), which can be present even if you don't have heart disease.

AF occurs when the heart's two small upper chambers quiver instead of beating as they should, which leads to improper blood pumping and can cause a stroke or a heart attack. Symptoms of arrhythmia, including AF, can be the feeling that your heart is fluttering or skipping a beat, shortness of breath, dizziness or fatigue.

Treatment options for arrhythmias include blood-thinning medications and a minimally invasive procedure known as catheter ablation. The procedure uses radiofrequency energy to destroy tissue that's causing irregular rhythms, while leaving healthy tissue intact. Implantable pacemakers and defibrillators are another option for treating arrhythmias.

Some risk factors for arrhythmias include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, congestive heart failure and obesity. Managing those risk factors can help reduce your chance of developing an arrhythmia.