Heart block, also known as atrioventricular block, occurs when electrical signals between the chambers of the heart are disrupted. This is often felt as a skipped beat and can result in the need for a pacemaker. An analysis of data concerning more than 6,000 people, aged 30 and older, showed that every 10 millimeter increase in systolic blood pressure (top number) is associated with a 22% greater risk of heart block, and every millimeter increase in fasting blood sugar is linked to a 19% greater risk of developing the rhythm disorder. Researchers estimate that 47% of the heart block cases in the study could have been prevented with ideal blood pressure, while 11% could have been prevented with normal fasting blood sugar levels.
JAMA Network Open, May 2019