The prevalence of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias tends to increase with age, even in the absence of clear signs of heart disease. Abnormalities in the conduction pathways can cause arrhythmias. High or low levels of a variety of minerals such as calcium, magnesium or potassium in the blood or tissues can cause arrhythmias.
A rapid, slow, or irregular heart rate can be felt in the pulse or by listening to the heart with an stethoscope. Blood pressure may be low. Signs of heart failure such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, cough, pallor or blue tinged skin or nails, abdominal distension, fainting, or swelling of the feet and ankles may be present.