A new Lancet Series explores the latest developments in the diagnosis, treatment and
biology of cardiac arrhythmias, ahead of the American Heart Association's annual meeting
taking place this year on Nov 3-7 in Los Angeles.
Arrhythmias - problems with the heartbeat's rate or rhythm, where the heart beats too
quickly, too slowly, or with an irregular rhythm - are thought to affect over one million
people in the UK, and are one of the top 10 reasons why people go to hospital.
Arrhythmias can disrupt the heart's ability to pump enough blood to the body, resulting in
a lack of blood flow which can damage the brain, heart, and other organs.
In a podcast, Andrew Grace says 'The current landscape in arrhythmia management would be
unrecognisable to practitioners twenty years ago. We've made massive strides, but there
are still gaps. Drug treatment remains an issue; the drugs are variably
effective, with many side-effects. In relation to atrial fibrillation, my personal view is
that much of that is due to metabolic factors, and with increasing obesity in the
population, that's going to be something of a problem'.