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An abnormal heart rhythm – rapid, slow and/or irregular – that is caused by disturbance in the heart’s electrical conduction system. Symptoms include: palpitations, breathlessness, light–headedness, dizziness or blackout, chest pain, angina. Rarely, some types of arrhythmia cause sudden death.
Types of arrhythmia include:
Atrial fibrillation (AF) The most common heart rhythm disturbance. AF affects about 10% of people over 65 years of age. The ventricles contract irregularly, and the atrial muscles flicker; blood pools in the atria, creating a risk of clot formation that predisposes to stroke. Persistent AF is managed with anticoagulation therapy.
AF Association https://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/
British Heart Foundation Atrial Fibrillation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/atrial-fibrillation
NICE NG196. Atrial fibrillation: diagnosis and management; 2021 https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng196
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