Are Heart Arrhythmias Dangerous?

If you're over 40 keep reading

Approximately one in 18 people, or 5 percent of the U.S. population, has an arrhythmia. A recent study has also suggested that one in four adult Americans over the age of 40 could develop an irregular heartbeat.


Arrhythmias can affect anyone—even people who are otherwise healthy and free of other forms of heart disease. Things that can cause the heart to beat abnormally include heavy smoking, alcohol use, excess caffeine or other stimulants, stress, thyroid disease, and fever.


Arrhythmias may be completely harmless, or they can be life-threatening. Some arrhythmias are very brief and don’t affect your overall heart rhythm. But if arrhythmias last longer, they may cause your heart rate to be too slow, too fast or erratic, causing the heart to pump less effectively.

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David Brush

David Brush, Husband, Father & Grandfather

“Ever since I got my Watchman, my risk of stroke due to afib has been reduced and I no longer have to take blood thinners. I can’t say enough about the doctors at Scripps. My doctor walks on water as far as I’m concerned and everyone at Scripps has been wonderful.”

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The cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at Scripps:

  • Treat more heart care patients in San Diego than any other health care system
  • Offer exceptional quality care, often exceeding state averages in delivering evidence-based interventions
  • Provide care at more locations across San Diego including four STEMI receiving center emergency rooms and multiple urgent care centers that can recognize even the smallest symptoms of a heart attack
  • Use innovative research for the improvement of heart care including leading-edge studies for valve replacement and genomic testing for cholesterol-reducing drugs
  • Offer advanced treatment options including robotic-assisted surgery
  • Offer women with heart disease support and resources through the national WomenHeart program
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Prebys Cardiovascular Institute

Prebys Cardiovascular Institute - La Jolla, CA

U.S. News & World Report Award