ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Unless your heart palpitations are a sign of an underlying heart condition, there's little risk of complications.
If your palpitations are a sign of an underlying heart condition, possible complications include:
- Fainting. If your heart beats very quickly, 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 (cardiac arrest).
- 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 travel to and 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 that's causing your palpitations, such as atrial fibrillation. Sometimes, controlling the rate of an arrhythmia that's causing heart failure can improve your heart's function.
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