Having bradycardia means that your heart beats
very slowly. For most people, a heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest
is considered normal. If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, it is slower
Sometimes bradycardia is normal. For example, healthy young adults
and well-trained athletes often have resting heart rates of less than 60 beats a minute.
is abnormal when the heart's normal pacemaker does not work correctly or when the
normal electrical system of the heart has been damaged. Abnormal bradycardia (also
called bradyarrhythmia, sick sinus syndrome, or sinus node dysfunction) is an abnormally
slow heart rate that is caused by certain medical conditions-including heart disease,
hypothyroidism, and electrolyte imbalances-and some medicines. In severe forms of
bradycardia, the heart beats so slowly that it does not pump enough blood to meet
the body's needs. This can be life-threatening.
How bradycardia is treated depends
on what is causing it. Treatment also depends on the symptoms. If bradycardia does
not cause symptoms, it usually is not treated. A pacemaker is often needed to restore
a normal heart rate.
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & John
M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.
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