Arrhythmia : Causes and Risk Factors

The four chambers of the heart (two atria and two ventricles) contract in a very specific, coordinated way. The electrical impulse that signals the heart to contract in a synchronized manner begins in the sinoatrial node (SA node). This is the heart’s natural pacemaker.

The signal leaves the SA node and travels through the two upper chambers (atria). Then the signal passes through another node (the AV node). Finally, it passes through the lower chambers (ventricles). This path enables the chambers to contract in a coordinated fashion.

Problems can occur anywhere along this conduction system, causing various arrhythmias like Bradycardia, Supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT) and Ventricular tachycardia .

The risk of getting a tachycardia or bradycardia varies greatly, depending on: Condition of the heart, blood chemistry imbalances, Endocrine abnormalities, Past heart attack

Arrhythmias may also be caused by some substances or drugs, including:

Amphetamines, Caffeine, Cocaine, Beta blockers, Psychotropics and Sympathomimetics

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