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World Heart Rhythm Week 2023

This week is known worldwide as World Heart Rhythm Week. From the 5th – 11th June, heart charities and health professionals work hard to raise awareness of heart rhythm disorders. These conditions are most commonly known as arrhythmias.

What is rhythm of the heart?

Your heart’s rhythm refers to how many times your heart beats each minute and how regularly your heart beats. You may have an irregular heartbeat, where your heart rate can be unpredictable. If your heart rhythm is irregular, this could mean:

  • Your heart rate is unpredictable and can change
  • Your heart rate is slower than it should be
  • Your heart rate is faster than it should be

There are two main terms to describe an abnormal heart rhythm that is not irregular:

  • Sinus tachycardia: your heartbeat is regular but beats faster than 100 beats per minute
  • Sinus bradycardia: your heartbeat is regular but beats slower than 60 beats per minute

A ‘normal’ heart rate is considered to be a resting heart rate of between 60 to 100 beats per minute. What feels normal for you may differ from person to person, but anything outside of this range can be classed as abnormal.

An abnormal heart rhythm is referred to as an arrhythmia. Arrhythmia’s can be developed at any age. Various factors can lead to developing an arrhythmia such as being overweight, or consuming high levels of alcohol or caffeine.

Types of heart rhythm

This week aims to raise awareness of heart rhythm problems and abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia).

There are several main types of arrhythmia you could be diagnosed with:

  • Atrial fibrillation: This is the most often diagnosed form of irregular heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation or ‘A-fib’ can also often lead to a heart rate that is faster than normal.
  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT): This is when your heart beats far more rapidly than is considered normal while resting. This is usually caused by issues with the electrical impulses travelling from the top chambers of the heart to the bottom.
  • Ventricular fibrillation: A rare and serious condition that can lead to loss of consciousness and even death if not treated promptly.
  • Bradycardia: Bradycardia is when your heart rate is considerably slower than what is considered normal. A heart rate of 60 beats per minute or less is classed as bradycardia. This is not always harmful, and many athletes will experience bradycardia.
  • Left bundle branch block: This is a form of heart block which causes the electrical impulses in the bottom chambers of the heart to travel more slowly than normal. LBBB can often be linked to other medical conditions such as heart disease.
  • Right bundle branch block: This is another form of heart block which causes the electrical impulses in the bottom chambers of the heart to travel more slowly than normal.
  • Atrial flutter: An atrial flutter happens when the chambers at the top of the heart contract at a faster rate than the bottom chambers.
What are the symptoms of arrhythmia?The main symptoms that could indicate you have arrhythmia are:  

Heart palpitations
Feeling dizzy or faint
Shortness of breath
Chest pain or discomfort
Fatigue
What causes arrhythmia?Arrhythmia can be linked to various risk factors and other medical conditions including:  

Illnesses
High use of alcohol or illegal drugs
Smoking
Caffeine
Heart attacks
Cardiomyopathy
Heart failure
Heart disease
Is arrhythmia life threatening?This depends on the type of arrhythmia you have. Some forms need no treatment or can be well managed with medication.  
Serious forms like ventricular fibrillation require immediate medical treatment or they can be life threatening.
Can you live a full life with arrhythmia?YES – It is possible to live a full and healthy life with an arrhythmia. If you follow your doctors advice and take any treatments/medications prescribed, you should be able to live a full life.

YES – It is still possible to get great life insurance to protect your home and family if you have an arrhythmia.

Our specialists have years of expertise in heart conditions life insurance and are proud to be rated #1 in the UK. With access to wide range of policies across both mainstream and specialist providers, we can find you the BEST rates quickly and hassle free.

More about LIFE INSURANCE.

More about HEART CONDITIONS LIFE INSURANCE.

Useful resources

British Heart Foundation – Heart block types

British Heart Foundation – Arrhythmias

NHS – Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia Alliance – Support Groups

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