Risk Factors for Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)En Español (Spanish Version)
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop arrhythmias with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing arrhythmias. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Risk factors for arrhythmias include:
The following medical conditions increase your chances of developing an arrhythmia:
- Heart muscle damage after heart attack
- Coronary artery disease
- Problems with heart valves
- Rheumatic heart disease
- Endocrine disorders, such as thyroid or adrenal gland problems
- High blood pressure
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Liver disease
- Typhoid fever
- Complication after near-drowning
- Electric shock or lightning strike
- Certain birth defects
Taking the following medication may increase your chances of developing an arrhythmia:
- Diet pills or decongestants
- Antidepressant medications
- Thyroid medications
- Prescription stimulants (eg, Ritalin)
The following habits may increase your chances of developing an arrhythmia:
- Excessive caffeine intake
Use of illegal drugs, especially stimulants such as cocaine, methedrine, and other amphetamines, increases your risk of developing an arrhythmia.
As with the risk of heart disease, your risk of developing an arrhythmia increases as you age.
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Last reviewed June 2008 by Michael J. Fucci, DO
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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