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When our hearts run: When does the heart race become life-threatening?


Harmless and dangerous racing heart difficult to distinguish
An increased heart rate can be completely normal under various conditions, but sudden racing of the heart for no apparent reason is always a reason to see a doctor. The German Heart Foundation has now provided a checklist that should help with the classification of the heartbeat.

When the heart beats faster, excitement or physical exertion are usually the cause, according to the German Heart Foundation. However, if the heart suddenly begins to race for no apparent reason, it is imperative to see a doctor. The heart foundation's checklist also helps in the search for the cause.

Atrial fibrillation often causes rapid heartbeat
Sudden rapid heartbeat is very uncomfortable for those affected and is often accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath or feelings of fear, reports the German Heart Foundation. Such seizures should always be clarified by a doctor, since dangerous heart diseases can be behind them. In the case of atrial fibrillation, for example, the heart rates exceed 140 beats per minute. "Although this most common form of cardiac arrhythmia is not acutely dangerous, (...) blood clots can form in the atria, which can then trigger a stroke," reports the German Heart Foundation. Around 1.8 million people in Germany are affected by atrial fibrillation.

There is not always cause for concern
Basically, not every racing heart is dangerous. In the case of seizures that suddenly start without any reason and can be ended by maneuvers such as drinking a glass of water, “there is a good chance that the heart will be benign,” according to the German Heart Foundation. This form of cardiac arrhythmia can also be very stressful for those affected, but in most cases it can be cured.

Cardiologist examination advised
According to the German Heart Foundation, people with cardiac arrhythmias often react with great uncertainty to their complaints. It is difficult for them to assess whether these are harmless or dangerous and how they can be treated. "After a thorough examination of the patient, only a cardiologist can decide whether cardiac arrhythmias are harmless, less harmless or life-threatening," emphasizes the cardiac specialist Professor Dr. med. Thomas Meinertz, CEO of the German Heart Foundation. Patients who experience attacks of rapid heartbeat out of nowhere should urgently have this checked by a doctor. (fp)

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Video: Rapid Heart Beat: What You Need to Know (October 2021).