Bradycardia is a condition wherein your heart rate is slower than normal. The normal heart rate of adults typically lies between 60 and 100 beats per minute. If your heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute, then you probably have it.

Bradycardia can be a serious problem if the heart doesn’t pump enough oxygenated blood to the whole body. However, bradycardia doesn’t cause symptoms or complications for some people.

For your heart to maintain an appropriate heart rate, some doctors would recommend that you undergo pacemaker implantation.


Due to decrease in heart rate, your vital organs might not be getting an adequate supply of oxygenated blood, thus causing the following symptoms:

  • Chest pains
  • Confusion or memory problems
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Easily tiring during physical activity
  • Fatigue
  • Near-fainting or fainting (syncope)
  • Shortness of breath

When a slow heart rate is normal

For some people, particularly healthy young adults and trained athletes, a resting heart rate slower than 60 beats per minute is normal. In those groups of individuals mentioned earlier, bradycardia is not considered to be a health issue.

When to see a doctor

The signs and symptoms of bradycardia can be caused by several other medical conditions. If you or your child has symptoms of bradycardia, seek professional help from your doctor.


To identify the conditions that might be causing bradycardia, your doctor will order diagnostics to measure your heart rate, and establish a link between a slow heart rate and your symptoms. The diagnostics include performing an electrocardiogram (ECG), exercise test, and sending out a sample of blood for laboratory analysis.

Infection, hypothyroidism, or an electrolyte imbalance may be causative agents for bradycardia. To screen for these, your doctor will order blood tests.

You might undergo tests to monitor your sleep if sleep apnea is the causative agent of your bradycardia.


Your treatment will be tailored according to the severity of symptoms, type of electrical conduction problem, and the cause of your slow heart rate.

Treatment might not be needed if you show no signs and symptoms.

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