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Bradycardia

(Bradyarrhythmia)

Definition

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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Causes

Bradycardia may be caused by:

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of bradycardia include:

Symptoms

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.

Diagnosis

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

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:

Prevention

To help reduce your chance of bradycardia:

RESOURCES

American Heart Association http://www.heart.org

Heart Rhythm Society http://www.hrsonline.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca

Heart and Stroke Foundation http://www.heartandstroke.com

References

Bradycardia. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/AboutArrhythmia/Bradycardia%5FUCM%5F302016%5FArticle.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.

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.

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