Unless a heart condition is causing your heart palpitations, there's little risk of complications. For palpitations caused by a heart condition, possible complications include:
Apr. 02, 2014
- Fainting. If your heart beats rapidly, your blood pressure may drop, causing you to faint. This may be more likely if you have a heart problem, such as congenital heart disease or certain valve problems.
- Cardiac arrest. Rarely, palpitations can be caused by life-threatening arrhythmias and can cause your heart to stop beating effectively.
- Stroke. If palpitations are due to atrial fibrillation, a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart quiver instead of beating properly, blood can pool and cause clots to form. If a clot breaks loose, it can block a brain artery, causing a stroke.
- Heart failure. This can result if your heart is pumping ineffectively for a prolonged period due to an arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation. Sometimes, controlling the rate of an arrhythmia that's causing heart failure can improve your heart's function.
- Zimetbaum PJ. Overview of palpitations in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 26, 2013.
- Palpitations. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/hpl/hpl_all.html. Accessed Nov. 26, 2013.
- Wexler RK, et al. Outpatient approach to palpitations. American Family Physician. 2011;84:63.
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