Health A-Z

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Expected Duration

How long a cardiac arrhythmia lasts depends on its cause. For example, atrial fibrillation that is caused by an overactive thyroid may go away when the thyroid problem is treated. However, cardiac arrhythmias that result from progressive or permanent damage to the heart tend to be long-term problems. When a heart attack causes ventricular fibrillation, death can occur within minutes.

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