Arrhythmia, also known as cardiac dysrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, is a condition in which the heartbeat is irregular; too fast, or too slow. A heartbeat that is too fast, above 100 beats per minute in adults – is called tachycardia and a heartbeat that is too slow, below 60 beats per minute – is called bradycardia (

Most CVD deaths are caused by cardiac arrhythmias leading to sudden cardiac arrest. Current cardiac rhythm management is effective and includes anti-arrhythmic drugs and the use of device-based therapies such as implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). The introduction of treatment with ICDs in cardiovascular disease has proved lifesaving. However, current criteria lack the desired sensitivity and specificity for proper patient selection, as does the electrocardiogram (ECG) and existing cardiac biomarkers.

Arrhythmias affect more than 30 million people around the world. Arrhythmias may occur at any age but are more common among older people where the prevalence may by over 20%.


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