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Management of tachyarrhythmias 

Management of tachyarrhythmias
Chapter:
Management of tachyarrhythmias
Author(s):

James L. Harrison

and Mark D. O’Neill

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0105
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date: 23 September 2019

The process of ageing is associated with an increased incidence of cardiac tachyarrhythmias, which are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Structural and functional changes, both mechanical and electrical, occur in the ageing heart, together with alterations in cardiac energetics and metabolism. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying tachyarrhythmias are not fully understood and there is a lack of evidence to guide treatments in older adults. Ventricular tachyarrhythmias are a major cause of unexpected death in older adults, especially in people with coronary artery disease. Sudden cardiac death is responsible for 13% of all natural deaths and 50% of cardiovascular deaths in older adults. The prevalence of asymptomatic and symptomatic supraventricular tachycardias also increases with age. With careful consideration of risks and benefits, age should not be seen as a contraindication to invasive device or ablation therapy for cardiac tachyarrhythmias.

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