Since other heart disorders increase the risk of developing abnormal heart rhythms, lifestyle changes often are recommended. Living a “heart healthy” lifestyle can ease the symptoms experienced with heart rhythm disorders and other heart disorders, and can be beneficial to overall patient health.

Risk Factors for Arrhythmias and Heart Disease

The following conditions can increase the chance of developing arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms: 

  • Coronary artery disease (blockage in the arteries/pipes of the heart)
  • High Blood Pressure  
  • Diabetes  
  • Smoking  
  • High cholesterol  
  • Obesity/overweight
  • A high-fat diet  
  • Excessive use of alcohol (more than 2 drinks per day)
  • Drug abuse  
  • Stress  
  • Family history of heart disease  
  • Advancing age (getting older)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies

Preventing Arrhythmias and Heart Disease

  • Prevent heart disease by lowering risk factors that can lead to heart disease or cardiac heart rhythm problems, and by monitoring and treating any existing heart problems that you have.
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices. Living a "heart healthy" life is the best way to reduce the chances of developing heart disorders. Exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy, low-fat diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and other vitamin-rich foods are the cornerstones of "heart healthy" living.
  • Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke (smoke from other people). Tobacco contributes to as much as one-third of all heart disease. 
  • Avoid or limit the intake of caffeine, alcohol, and other recreational drugs.
  • Avoid unnecessary stress, such as anger, anxiety, or fear, and find ways to manage or control stressful situations that cannot be avoided. 
  • Have regular physical exams and tell your doctor right away about any unusual symptoms you may have.
  • Talk to a doctor about treating health problems that may contribute to abnormal heart rhythms and heart disease, including atherosclerosis("clogged" arteries), heart valve damage, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and thyroid disease.

Keep Exploring

Early Warning Signs
Over 2.5 million people experience a racing, pounding, rumbling or flopping feeling in their chest but don't know that it could be Atrial Fibrillation which increase the chance of stroke by 500%. Maybe you are seeing irregular heart rhythm readings on your new wearable health device and are not sure what it means. If you been fainting or having repeated dizzy spells, it's time to see a doctor to discuss your heart health.
Heart Rhythm Disorders
Millions of people experience irregular or abnormal heartbeats, called arrhythmias, at some point in their lives. Most of the time, they are harmless and happen in healthy people free of heart disease. However, some abnormal heart rhythms can be serious or even deadly. Having other types of heart disease can also increase the risk of arrhythmias.
Common Treatments
The underlying cause of any heart rhythm disorder provides the basis for selecting the best treatment plan. In general, the best treatment is the least invasive option that effectively controls the heart rhythm disorder.
The Normal Heart
The heart is a fist-sized muscle that pumps blood through the body 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without rest. The normal heart is made up of four parts: two atria on the top of the heart (right atrium and left atrium), and two ventricles (right ventricle and left ventricle) which are the muscular chambers on the bottom of the heart that provide the major power to pump blood.
HRS Glossary
The Heart Rhythm Society brings you an online dictionary of common medical terms related to heart, and rhythm problems.