Aberrations in your heartbeat are common, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Changes from a normal heartbeat are called arrhythmias, and almost all of us have them. That’s according to Hugh Calkins, a cardiologist and electrophysiologist at Johns Hopkins. 

Calkins: Someone can be asymptomatic, it’s very common to have a cardiac arrhythmia and not know it. You can have extra beats, you can have atrial fibrillation, you can have all types of arrhythmias and be unaware of it. This is one of the reasons it’s important to get an annual physical examination, particularly when you get 50 years of age. Because when you go in to that check up feeling great you may be found to have some type of arrhythmia condition. Chest pain, you can get fluttering in your chest, chest discomfort. Some arrhythmias affect cognitive function, so confusion and memory loss.  :31

Calkins says aging is a major factor in the development of arrhythmias, some of which can lead to consequences like stroke or heart attack, so following up with your primary care physician is a good idea. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.