Heart Rhythm Awareness Week commences today

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THANDI XABA

One in four adults over the age of 40 will develop some form of irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia, yet many South Africans are not aware of this common condition which can cause a life-threatening cardiac event or stroke.

Today until June 9th is Heart Rhythm Awareness week where awareness events such as pulse check clinics and learning when to seek advice from a healthcare professional take place.

Cardiologist Israel Obel says this awareness week is to educate people about the well-being of their hearts.

He says that a heart rhythm disorder or cardiac arrhythmia is when the heart beats too quickly, too slowly or irregularly.

This is caused by one or more faults in the electrical circuitry of the heart. Electrophysiology is the study of the electrical properties of the heart’s cells and tissues in order to diagnose and successfully treat cardiac arrhythmia.

Dr Anchen Laubscher, medical director at Netcare, said people of all ages can suffer from this condition, which affects many people’s quality of life, but it is particularly common among older individuals. “Empowering the South African public with knowledge about irregular heartbeat can help to save lives.”

He adds that having palpitations dizziness, fainting, as well as shortness of breath, chest discomfort and pains could be symptoms of a heart rhythm disorder and should be investigated by a doctor or cardiologist if they persist.