Ventricular Tachycardia

Your input helps shape an effective treatment plan.

JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief

Did you know your heart beats 40 million times each year? That’s a lot. The heart’s electrical system helps regulate these beats. Usually, the heart beats between 60 and 80 times per minute. But if you have ventricular tachycardia, your heart beats much faster—between 120 and 300 times per minute! This can be very dangerous and needs to be treated. 

The problem starts in the ventricles—the lower pumping chambers of your heart. As the heart races, these chambers may not completely fill with blood. If this happens, the heart can’t pump enough blood to the brain and the rest of the body. Because of this, you may not be able to maintain a normal blood pressure. That’s why some people with this condition will faint without warning. It can even lead to sudden cardiac death. Some people have palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath or sweat. Others have no symptoms at all.

There are many reasons why this heart rhythm disorder can develop, but you don’t have to have heart disease to have it. Treatment will depend on your symptoms. Stay in tune with your heart’s rhythm. Use this condition center to learn more about living with ventricular tachycardia. You can also read about the latest research, create a list of questions to ask your doctor and much more.

Ventricular Tachycardia News & Events

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Researchers develop simple, cost-effective treatment for heart patients diagnosed with depression or anxiety.

Spirit of the Heart in South Bronx, NY

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

Web-Based Program Helps Patients Improve Heart Health

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Worldwide Obesity Rates 'Startling'

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Major study finds obesity rates have increased dramatically in all corners of the world over last three decades.

NIH Engages Women in Medical Research

May 29, 2014
The National Institutes of Health has unveiled new policies that will engage women in all phases of medical research.

Reducing Salt Intake, Nationwide

May 22, 2014
Experts identify ways to reduce salt consumption and improve heart health in the United States.

'Exercise Snacking': The Latest Health Trend?

May 14, 2014
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Growing Use of ICDs to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death

May 09, 2014
More patients may be eligible to receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, according to a scientific statement released by the American College of Cardiology Foundation and American Heart Association.

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When it comes to our well-being, it's important to consider how much we put into our bodies and what we need in order to stay healthy.

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Adults engaging in any level of regular physical activity have lower risk of death compared to those who get no exercise, according to research.
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Secondhand Smoke Causes Permanent Damage to Children's Arteries

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Exposure to secondhand smoke during childhood ages arteries later in life, study finds.

Sudden Death in College Athletes: Cause for Concern?

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Ten-year study finds risk of sudden cardiac death among college athletes is actually lower than in the general population.

Improving America's Health through Active Transportation

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Partners unite to promote active transportation across the country with new platform called “Safe Routes to Everywhere.”

Devices in Public Places Restart Hearts

Feb 21, 2014
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can help minimally trained bystanders save persons experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

Safety Concerns About Prescription Weight Loss Pills

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Experts are concerned about the safety of two weight loss pills recently approved for use in the United States.

CVS to Stop Selling Cigarettes; Will Others Follow?

Feb 19, 2014
As CVS vows to eliminate cigarette and tobacco sales over the next year, experts hope other pharmacies will follow their lead to help reduce smoking rates nationwide.

Improvements in Heart Patient Safety Among U.S. Hospitals

Feb 07, 2014
Study finds fewer complications among patients hospitalized for heart attack or heart failure between 2005 and 2011.

Anti-Smoking Efforts Saved 8 Million Lives—and Counting

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On the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s first report on smoking and health, study finds tobacco control efforts have increased life expectancy and saved millions of American lives.

Multivitamins Fail to Improve Memory in Older Men

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Study findings suggest that daily multivitamins fail to prevent cognitive decline in older adults.

Energy Drinks Increase the Heart's Contraction Rate

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Study suggests that energy drinks may be unsafe for children and individuals with existing heart conditions, like an irregular heartbeat.

Nut Consumption Linked to Longevity

Nov 26, 2013
Study finds that regular consumption of nuts could lower risk of death by as much as 20%.
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Registry Programs Improve Quality of Care and Outcomes

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Lessons learned from the American Heart Association’s “Get With The Guidelines” program.

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