Could YOU have an abnormal heart rhythm? Warning signs to look out for
Millions have an abnormal heart rhythm or arrythmia and many don't even realise it.
The most common type is atrial fibrillation (AF), which causes an irregular and often unusually fast heartbeat and drastically raises the risk of a stroke.
If diagnosed, AF can be treated.
However, it's estimated there are at least 270,000 people in the UK who are unaware they have the condition, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The figure is thought to stand at closer to 1.5million in the US.
'What remains troubling is the sheer number of people who are undiagnosed and unaware they are living with a heightened risk of stroke,' says BHF medical director, Professor Sir Nilesh Samani.
'Finding people with this hidden threat must remain a priority.'
Trudie Lobban, founder of the Arrhythmia Alliance, a coalition of patients, healthcare professionals and policymakers, adds: 'Heart rhythm disorders are a leading cause of sudden cardiac death and devastating strokes.
'And yet too few people are aware of the rhythm of their heart.'