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posted: 3/5/2014 3:27 PM

When does an irregular heartbeat mean something more serious?

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Kellee Lemcke

Your heart "skipping a beat" might sound romantic, but it could be a sign of something more serious. Atrial fibrillation --a common heart rhythm disorder-- affects nearly three million Americans, according to the American Heart Association.

Atrial fibrillation, also known as A-fib, occurs when the upper chambers of the heart beat quickly and out of sync. Although A-fib itself usually isn't life-threatening, over time it can weaken the heart and raise your risk of heart attack, stroke and even heart failure.

In an effort to help you identify A-fib, Dr. Mehran Jabbarzadeh, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Advocate Condell Medical Center, discusses the signs, symptoms and treatment options available.

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