Cardiac arrhythmias are a common term for all deviations from the normal heart rhythm (sinus rhythm). Many heart rhythm disorders are harmless, while others require medical treatment. Cardiac arrhythmias can cause rapid, slow or irregular heartbeats. Cardiac arrhythmias can be experienced as irregular heartbeat, palpitations, dizziness or sometimes as fainting.
A common heart rhythm disorder is atrial fibrillation. Every fourth 40-year-old can expect to develop atrial fibrillation during his lifetime. In atrial fibrillation, the heart beats irregularly and often too fast. Atrial fibrillation does not always cause symptoms, and up to 1 in 3 people with atrial fibrillation have the condition without knowing it. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of blood clots forming in the heart. Such blood clots can follow the large blood vessels to the brain and cause a stroke. The risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation increases with age >65 years, diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Anticoagulation effectively reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, and are recommended for most people with atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is easily detected with an ECG test. Long-term ECG recording increases the possibility of detecting atrial fibrillation