Cardiac arrhythmias: Cardiac arrhythmias often cause falls

Cardiac arrhythmias: Cardiac arrhythmias often cause falls

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Falls are a common cause of injuries to the elderly. This is the result of at least one study in which subjects with a tendency to fall were implanted with an event recorder.

The research team examined 70 fall patients with an average age of 70 years. All subjects had visited an emergency room at least twice in the previous year because of a fall. There they were examined for causal factors (orthostatic hypotension, carotid sinus syndrome, vasovagal syncope, sinus bradycardia, AV block, supraventricular tachycardia), but without any results.

The doctors implanted an event recorder subcutaneously in the left parasternal region. In 50 patients (70%) the devices used recorded cardiac arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation (4 patients), supraventricular tachycardia (12) and bradycardia (34). In 14 patients (20%), a fall or syncope occurred simultaneously with the rhythm disorder. 36 patients (51 percent) showed arrhythmias in the event recorder recordings that were not directly related to falls or fainting.

One in five study patients who had suffered falls from a previously unexplained cause had an arrhythmia that could explain the fall accidents. In principle, a proven arrhythmia, be it fall-related or not, is associated with an increased risk of further falls. You can find the study here. (pm)

Author and source information

Video: Living with Arrhythmias: What to Know When Your Heart is Out of Rhythm (May 2022).


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