Bradycardia is an abnormally slow heart rate. In adults, it is defined as a heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute. Different types of bradycardia are collectively referred to as bradyarrhythmias. They include:
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Bradycardia may be caused by:
Factors that may increase your chance of bradycardia include:
Some types of bradycardia produce no symptoms. Others may cause noticeable symptoms, such as:
Serious forms of bradycardia, such as complete heart block, are medical emergencies. They can lead to loss of consciousness or sudden cardiac arrest.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your heart will be examined with a stethoscope.
Treatment may not be required if you do not have cardiac symptoms and conditions. Your doctor may choose to monitor your heart rate and rhythm instead.
Treatment may include:
To help reduce your chance of bradycardia:
American Heart Association
Heart Rhythm Society
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Bradycardia. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/AboutArrhythmia/Bradycardia_UCM_302016_Article.jsp. Updated October 25, 2012. Accessed January 18, 2013.
Fleg J. Arrhythmias and conduction disturbances. In: Beers MH, Berkow R, eds. The Merck Manual of Geriatrics (online). Merck & Co.;2000:486.
Hurst's The Heart. 11th ed; 2004.
Explore arrhythmia. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arr. Updated July 1, 2011. Accessed January 18, 2013.
Last reviewed December 2014 by Michael J. Fucci, DO Last Updated: 12/20/2014