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Health Matters: Could you have a heart rhythm problem?

Health Matters: Could you have a heart rhythm problem?

One of the most common heart rhythm problems and a major cause of stroke is atrial fibrillation. It's estimated that one in four people will develop it but would you know how to recognise the symptoms?

This week it's the Atrial Fibrillation Association's Aware Week (24-30 Nov) – a week dedicated to raising awareness of and promoting a better understanding of this condition.

The condition causes your heart to beat irregularly. It's generally not life threatening, but it can be uncomfortable and often needs treatment. Some people will have no symptoms, but for others symptoms can include:


  • palpitations (a fast, pounding heart rate)
  • shortnesss of breath
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • light headedness (feeling faint)

It is a good idea to regularly check your pulse. Everyone is different but as a guide, your heart rate should be between 60-100 beats a minute when you're resting.

There are normal reasons why your pulse may be slower or faster but if your pulse is consistently above 120 or below 40 beats per minute and you are concerned then book an appointment to see your GP.

If your GP thinks that you might the condition they can refer you to our Heart Support Service who will carry out heart recording tests to confirm if you have atrial fibrillation and provide treatment and support.


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Download the Arrhythmia Awareness 'Know Your Pulse guide' and keep a record of your heart rhythm.

Find more information about Atrial Fibrillation visit or

Other factors which can increase the risk of stroke include smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, being overweight and diabetes. Help improve your health and reduce your risks with the support of an NHS Health Trainers or choose from the wide range of local classes and activities available to you as part of our Community Programme.




Last Updated: Wednesday, 02 November 2016 16:13

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