Your heart is a complex organ with its own electrical system. Here’s what you need to know.
- Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day in a regular rhythm, typically 60 to 100 times a minute. With a heart rhythm disorder, your heart beats irregularly, or too fast or too slowly.
- An estimated 2.7 million to 6.1 million Americans experience atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder. Your risk increases with age; only about 2 percent of people under 65 have atrial fibrillation.
- During an atrial flutter, the heart beats 240 to 400 times a minute.
- People with atrial fibrillation have a four to five times higher risk of stroke than people with normal heartbeats. Experts estimate that atrial fibrillation causes 15 to 20 percent of all ischemic strokes.
- With tachycardia, your heart beats too fast, more than 100 beats per minute. With bradycardia, your heart beats too slowly, fewer than 60 beats per minute. Without treatment, both problems may lead to serious complications such as cardiac arrest or heart failure.