What Are Some Causes of Heart Palpitations?

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Causes of heart palpitations include stress, anxiety, pregnancy and stimulant use, according to WebMD. Heart palpitations are caused by medical conditions in rare cases, including anemia, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.

Anemia is a blood disorder that occurs when there is a lack of red blood cells in the body, or when they do not function properly, notes the American Society of Hematology. The risk factors for developing anemia include poor nutrition, infections, intestinal disorders, kidney disease and vigorous exercise. Patients with anemia experience a lack of oxygen, which results in symptoms of weakness, headache, chest pain and pale skin.

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart condition and occurs when arteries narrow due to a buildup of plaque, according to Healthline. Risk factors for developing the disease include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and chronic kidney disease. If untreated, coronary heart disease can lead to symptoms of chest pain, heart attack and shortness of breath.

Congestive heart failure is a chronic disease that develops when the heart pumps an inadequate amount of blood, causing blood and fluids to back up in other organs, explains Healthline. The condition can develop due to high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and certain valve conditions. A patient with congestive heart failure usually notices a gradual increase in symptoms, which include weight gain, fatigue and chest pain.