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Irregular Heartbeat Speed or Rhythm

An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of your heartbeat.

Abnormal Electrical Activity

The cause is abnormal electrical activity in the heart. In an arrhythmia, your heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.

Types of Arrhythmias

Arrhythmias Are Common

Some Are Life-Threatening Emergencies

Some arrhythmias are life-threatening emergencies and can result in cardiac arrest and sudden death. When the heart doesn't beat properly, it can't pump blood efficiently. If your organs, including your brain, don't get enough blood, they can shut down or suffer serious damage.

Most Are Less Serious

Most arrhythmias, however, are less serious. For example, more than 2 million Americans are living with a type of arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation. Even a serious arrhythmia can often be treated with success. Most people with arrhythmias are able to live normal, healthy lives.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215