Heart Block

Working closely with your care team is important.

JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief
Learn more about Heart Block

The heart’s electrical system is pretty amazing. It’s our body’s built-in pacemaker—making sure the heart beats at a normal, even rate.

With each heartbeat, it sends signals to the heart muscle, telling it when to contract and pump blood to the brain and the rest of the body. When you have heart block, the signals between the heart’s chambers can be partially or totally blocked. As a result, the heart either does not beat regularly or your heart rate can drop to a dangerously low number of beats per minute. Heart block is different from blockages in the arteries of your heart (see coronary artery disease).

Some people are born with heart block (see congenital heart defects), while others develop it later in life. If you develop it as an adult, it’s usually due to damage to the heart muscle from certain diseases, surgery or medications. Symptoms can include fatigue, dizziness or shortness of breath. Your symptoms and treatment will depend on the type of heart block you have.

Use this condition center to learn more about living with heart block. You can also read about the latest research, create a list of questions to ask your doctor and much more.

Heart Block News & Events

Do Financial Conflicts of Interest Impact Study Results?

Feb 21, 2013
According to a recent study, funding sources and conflicts of interest have no impact on the outcome of medical studies and trials.

Calcium Supplements May Increase Cardiovascular Risk in Men

Feb 19, 2013
While more research is needed, new findings show how calcium supplements could affect heart health in men.

CardioSmart Partners with Hospitals for National Heart Health Screening Day

Feb 14, 2013
CardioSmart is collaborating with hospitals nationwide to offer free heart health screenings to local residents.

American College of Cardiology Spotlights Heart Health Through Fashion

Feb 05, 2013
Live stream the Red Dress Collection Fashion Show and participate in other events for this national heart health awareness movement.
Spirit of the Heart

Spirit of the Heart—Helping Improve Your Community's Heart Health

Jan 29, 2013

Spirit of the Heart events offer heart disease screening and events in underserved communities.

Resources to Help You Compare Treatment Options

Nov 07, 2012
Guidance from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in making health decisions

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