The heart is a muscular organ and beats at regular intervals. This is known as heart rate, which indicates a person’s overall health. In a normal healthy individual, it ranges from 60 to 100 depending on overall health status. A heart rate outside of these ranges is usually a cause for concern.
Bradycardia is when the heart rate is below 60. While this could be a sign of fitness and health in some, it could also mean an underlying cardiac condition in others. Low heart rate is seen in many athletes, who normally have a heart rate below 60, with no symptoms or problems.
However, in others, slow heart rate can be an indication of an underlying heart problem. The electrical system in the heart could be affected, leading to alteration in blood supply to the heart and other vital organs. This needs further investigation and management to restore normal cardiac function.
Causes: Some of the reasons for reduced heart rate include:
Symptoms: While bradycardia does not cause symptoms in some, in others, where it has an associated medical condition, the following would be seen too:
Complications: If left untreated, bradycardia can cause:
Risk factors: If you have any or some of the following, do not ignore bradycardia.
Treatment: Once diagnosis of bradycardia and underlying disease is confirmed, treatment will be two-pronged.
While bradycardia per se is not a concern, other conditions should be managed so the heart keeps working to its optimal level. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.