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Arrhythmia Alliance World Heart Rhythm Week

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Arrhythmia Alliance World Heart Rhythm Week is an annual awareness week that focuses on detecting arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms). 


In the UK, 100,000 sudden cardiac deaths occur each year, which is more than breast cancer, lung cancer and AIDs combined. Globally, sudden cardiac death causes 15-20 percent of deaths worldwide.

Heart arrhythmias occur when the electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats don't work properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. Heart arrhythmias may feel like a fluttering or racing heart and may be harmless.

Risk

Arrhythmias can affect all age groups, but atrial fibrillation is more common in older people. Drinking alcohol in excess or being overweight increases your likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation.

You may also be at risk of developing an arrhythmia if your heart tissue is damaged because of an illness – for example, if you have had a heart attack or have heart failure.

Common triggers for an arrhythmia are viral illnesses, alcohol, tobacco, changes in posture, exercise, drinks containing caffeine, certain over-the-counter and prescribed medicines, and illegal recreational drugs.

Diagnosis

The most effective way to diagnose an arrhythmia is with an electrical recording of your heart rhythm called an electrocardiogram (ECG). If the ECG doesn’t find a problem, you may need further monitoring of your heart.

Also, part of listening to your heart is knowing your pulse. A simple pulse check only takes 30 seconds to complete and it could save your life. Learn more here.

Prevention

The good news is that most people with an abnormal heart rhythm can lead a normal life if properly diagnosed. It is not always possible to prevent an arrhythmia developing. Although a healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of developing a heart condition.

Support

The NHS provides more information HERE.

Click HERE to find out about Irish in Britain's Green Hearts campaign.