Can Heart Palpitations Cause A Heart Attack?

What are heart palpitations?

Heart palpitation is the feeling of the heart beating faster than normal. A person can experience heart palpitations irrespective of his health state – someone not affected by cardiovascular diseases can also feel them. Even when one’s heart is beating normally, or slightly faster than usual, one might feel palpitations.

Most palpitations are not harmful and stop on their own. Some palpitations might, however, be signs of an unhealthy heart.


Causes of heart palpitations other than those related to heart diseases

Intense emotions

Anxiety, fear, stress can all cause heart palpitations. People experiencing panic attacks may have this feeling.

Vigorous physical exercise

When engaging in intense exercise, one may have the feeling that the heart is feeling faster and harder than normal, though it is but normal.

Medical Conditions

The following medical conditions can lead to the heart beating faster or stronger:-

  1. An overactive thyroid
  2. A low blood sugar level
  3. Anemia
  4. Some types of low blood pressure
  5. Fever
  6. Dehydration (not enough fluid in the body)
  7. Hormonal Changes

Pregnancy, menstruation and the perimenopausal period might cause heart


  1. Inhaled asthma medicines.
  2. Too much of medicines to treat an underactive thyroid.
  3. Medicines to prevent arrhythmias.
  4. Over-the-counter medicines that act as stimulants also may cause palpitations. These include decongestants.


  1. Caffeine
  2. Nicotine
  3. Alcohol
  4. Illegal drugs like cocaine

Palpitations related to heart problems

Heart diseases include problems with the rate of rhythm of the heartbeat known as arrhythmias. The heart beats too fast or too slow or irregularly.

Palpitations are more likely to be related to an arrhythmia if the person:

  1. Has had a heart attack or are at risk for one.
  2. Has coronary heart disease (CHD) or risk factors for CHD.
  3. Has other heart problems, such as heart failure.
  4. Has abnormal electrolyte levels.

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