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My heart skips a beat once in a while. What’s going on?
Think of it like your heart is rebooting. As scary as they may seem, most skipped beats – also called palpitations – are not serious, says Dr Ralph Damiano Jr., chief of cardiac surgery at the Washington University. “A series of electrical signals controls your heartbeat and a palpitation is a premature signal that can make your heart pause and then reset itself.” It’s a common phenomenon and the occasional blip alone is usually not cause for concern. However, if your heartbeats become very irregular or you feel your heart racing, you could have an arrhythmia, Damiano says. Arrhythmias are heartbeat abnormalities that can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Concerned? Have a check-up and schedule an EKG so your doctor can analyse your heartbeat. In the meantime, you may be able to reduce your risk of the most common type of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, by dialing back the booze. A review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported that for each increase of one-third ounce in your daily alcohol intake, your risk of atrial fibrillation increases by 8%.