Arrhythmias are disorders of the regular rhythmic beating of the heart. They're common - about 2.2 million Americans are living with atrial fibrillation (one type of rhythm problem). Arrhythmias can occur in a healthy heart and be of minimal consequence. They also may indicate a serious problem and lead to heart disease, stroke or sudden cardiac death.
Almost everyone has felt their heart beat very fast, felt a fluttering in their chest or thought that their heart was skipping a beat. These can be signs of arrhythmia, or abnormal or irregular heartbeat.
Don't panic if you've occasionally had these symptoms. Arrhythmias are extremely common, especially as you get older. Each year millions of people have them.
Most cases are harmless, but some arrhythmias are extremely dangerous and require treatment and management. See your doctor if you have felt any of these symptoms to rule out other problems, such as heart disease, and to give you peace of mind.