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Is Your Lifestyle Causing Arrhythmia?

Arrhythmias aren’t all that uncommon in the United States. Atrial fibrillation, the most prevalent form of arrhythmia, affects up to 6 million people, and this number is expected to rise to more than 12 million by 2030. While there are many roads to developing an arrhythmia, lifestyle can play a significant role.

At Heart Rhythm Associates, Dr. Van H. De Bruyn specializes in arrhythmias and offers a number of different solutions to reduce your risks for serious complications. If you’ve been diagnosed with an arrythmia, or you want to prevent one from developing, the odds are good that we may suggest some lifestyle changes to safeguard your heart health.

Here’s a look at how your lifestyle may increase your risks for developing an arrythmia.

Arrhythmias 101

Before we get into the lifestyle factors that can influence your heart health, let’s quickly review what an arrhythmia is. At its core, an arrhythmia is a problem with your heart’s rhythm, which occurs when there’s a malfunction in the electrical impulses that control your heartbeat.

There are many types of arrhythmias, but the main problems include:

The most common form of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, or AFib, which we referenced in the beginning of this blog. AFib leads to an irregular and rapid heartbeat, which can pave the way toward some very serious consequences like heart failure and stroke. 

The role of lifestyle

Arrhythmias can develop for any number of reasons, several of which may be beyond your control, including:

More common drivers of arrhythmia are the factors that are within your control, including:

Many of these factors are related. For example, one of the primary causes of sleep apnea is carrying too much weight. And your high blood pressure may be a result of a high-stress lifestyle. The bottom line is that by addressing one or more of these risk factors, you may also clear up another problem, which is a win-win for your health.

Making the necessary changes

When you come in, we spend a considerable amount of time assessing your arrhythmia, as well as any lifestyle factors or underlying medical conditions that likely play a role. Once we identify some of the problems, we can tailor a treatment plan, including lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or losing weight, that will greatly improve your arrhythmia.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for addressing an arrythmia, but there are many effective steps we can take to lessen your chances of developing far more serious cardiovascular problems.


To get on the road to better heart health, please contact our office in LIttle Rock, Arkansas, to set up an appointment.

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