Heart disease

Heart disease

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Credit: STEVE ALLEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heart disease. Conceptual image of an electrocardiogram (ECG) trace and pills, representing heart disease. An ECG machine uses external electrodes to measure electrical currents produced by the activity of heart muscle. The resulting trace shows the heartbeat. The tall narrow peak shows the pumping action of the ventricles, the lower chambers of the heart that do most of the pumping. ECGs are used to monitor the rhythm of the heart to detect any abnormalities. Many different drugs affect the heart, for example beta-blockers, which may be used to treat cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

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