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An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. It means that your heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or with an irregular pattern. When the heart beats faster than normal, it is called tachycardia. When the heart beats too slowly, it is called bradycardia. The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, which causes an irregular and fast heartbeat.


Many factors can affect your heart's rhythm, such as having had a heart attack, congenital heart defects, smoking and stress. Some substances or medicines may also cause arrhythmias.


Symptoms of arrhythmias include: fast or slow heartbeat, skipping beats, lightheadedness or dizziness, chest pain, or shortness of breath.


Treatments to restore a normal heart rhythm may include medicines, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or pacemaker, or sometimes surgery.

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