Sick Sinus Syndrome Overview
What is sick sinus syndrome?
A person with sick sinus syndrome may have a heart rate that is too fast, a heart rate that is too slow, or a heart rate that alternates between too fast and too slow. The heart contains four chambers: two small atria make up the top of the heart, and two large ventricles make up the bottom of the heart. An electrical impulse stimulates the muscle fibers in the heart to contract. The impulse spreads through the heart in a very organized manner, so that the atria contract first, followed by the ventricles. Any condition that disrupts the normal electrical impulse can cause sick sinus syndrome. About 1 out of 1600 people over the age of 50 have sick sinus syndrome.
What are the symptoms of sick sinus syndrome?
Symptoms of sick sinus syndrome may include dizziness, faintness, palpitations, difficulty breathing, excessive sweating, chest pain, or fainting.
How does the doctor treat sick sinus syndrome?
Treatment for sick sinus syndrome may include medication or pacemaker therapy to control the heart rate.
Continue to Sick Sinus Syndrome Incidence
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- Seifer C, Kenny RA. The prevalence of falls in older persons paced for atrioventricular block and sick sinus syndrome. Am J Geriatr Cardiol. 2003 Sep-Oct;12(5):298-301.