Irregular heart rhythms are common and may be caused by
stress, fatigue, or overuse of alcohol or stimulants, such as caffeine or
nicotine. Home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve minor rhythm
Exercise can also cause an irregular heart rhythm, but
the rhythm usually returns to normal within minutes after the exercise stops.
An irregular rhythm with shortness of breath that continues for an extended
period of time after physical activity may be a sign of a more serious problem.
If you have
palpitations, an irregular heart rhythm,
lightheadedness, or fainting brought on by exercise,
call your doctor for an evaluation.
Which one of the following statements is true?
Each year, heart disease claims the lives of
more women then breast
cancer and lung cancer combined.
A greater percentage of women die within one year of a heart attack than men.
The death rate of African-American women due to cardiovascular disease is
greater than white women.
Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease.
The answer: All of them. And experts say they represent only the tip of the
iceberg when it comes to the facts...
Other changes in heart rhythm
can be more serious. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of irregular
heart rhythm. It causes the heart's upper chambers to beat irregularly,
reducing blood flow to the heart muscle and to the rest of the body. Atrial
fibrillation increases your chance of having a
stroke or a blood clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
Irregular rhythms in
the lower heart chambers (ventricular arrhythmias) are the most
life-threatening irregular heart rhythms. They usually cause fainting (syncope) within seconds, and you may have
symptoms of a heart attack. Emergency medical
treatment is needed, such as medicines and electrical shock