Heart block is a condition in which the heart beats more slowly or irregularly. It is caused by an issue with the electrical pulses that control how fast your heartbeats. The symptoms vary depending on the type of heart block you have. The mildest type, 1st-degree heart block, may not cause any symptoms. While 2nd-degree heart block can occasionally cause troubling symptoms that require treatment, 3rd-degree heart block, the most severe type, can be a medical emergency.
Heart Block Facts and Figures
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, anyone can have a heart block but it most commonly occurs in older adults and those who have a history of heart disease. Some facts and statistics about heart block have been listed below:
|Incidence of Heart Block||0.10%|
|Common in||Adults and Older Adults|
|Average Age for Diagnosis||30 to 60 years|
|Problems related to Heart Block||Low blood pressure, damage to internal organs, fainting|
|Specialists Who Treat Heart Block||Cardiac Surgeon|
The symptoms of heart block vary according to its degree:
First-degree heart block:
Symptoms of 1st-degree heart block are uncommon. Most people discover they have it when they are tested for another medical condition.
Second-degree heart block:
Most people with the less severe 2nd-degree heart block, known as Mobitz type 1, have no symptoms. However, some people may experience:
Third-degree heart block:
A heart block can be present from birth, called Congenital heart block, or typically develops later in life. This is referred to as acquired heart block, and it can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
The best way to avoid problems such as heart block is to change your lifestyle. You take the following precautions to prevent it:
The treatment options for heart block might include:
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