When supraventricular tachycardia occurs in someone with significant
coronary artery disease, the heart may not receive enough blood to keep up with
the demands of the increased heart rate. If this occurs, the heart may not get
enough oxygen (ischemia), potentially causing a heart attack (myocardial
Supraventricular tachycardia may result in heart failure, especially
in people with diseases of the heart valves (particularly aortic stenosis or
mitral stenosis) or with a weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
And if supraventricular tachycardia persists for a long period of
time, it may cause a normal heart to weaken and heart failure to develop (known
as a tachycardia-mediated cardiomyopathy), although it is often reversible if
the supraventricular tachycardia is corrected.
When Ramona Richman's older sister was diagnosed with high cholesterol, Richman wasn't worried about her own risk. The San Francisco Bay Area stay-at-home mom had her weight under control and assumed that her diet was healthy. So when her doctor broke the news that she, too, had high cholesterol, she was shocked. Her reading of 269 mg/dL was well over the desirable level of less than 200 mg/dL. "My sister had high cholesterol and went on medication, so I imagine that it's a genetic thing," Richman,...