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 attackCoronary artery diseaseProblems with heart valvesRheumatic heart disease
Endocrine disorders, such as
or adrenal gland problems
AnemiaHigh blood pressureCardiomyopathyDiabetesObstructive sleep apneaLiver diseaseTyphoid feverHypothermiaComplication after near-drowningElectric shock or lightning strikeCertain birth defects
Taking the following medication may increase your chances of developing an arrhythmia:
Diet pills or decongestantsAntidepressant medicationsDigitalisThyroid medicationsPrescription stimulants (eg, Ritalin)
The following habits may increase your chances of developing an arrhythmia:
SmokingAlcoholStressExcessive 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 December 2013 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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