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:
Bradycardia may be caused by:
Factors that may increase your chances of bradycardia:
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 chances of bradycardia:
American Heart Association
Heart Rhythm Society
Canadian Heart Rhythm Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Bradycardia: Slow heart rate. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/AboutArrhythmia/Bradycardia_UCM_302016_Article.jsp#.Wh2r8FWnFxA. Updated January 5, 2017. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Explore arrhythmia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arr. Updated July 1, 2011. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Overview of arrhythmias. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular-disorders/arrhythmias-and-conduction-disorders/overview-of-arrhythmias. Updated September 2017. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.