Bradycardia is a medical term for a slow heart rate. In the past, it has been defined as a heart rate less than 60 beats per minute.
For some patients, bradycardia may cause no symptoms or problems. However, a slow heart rate can cause dizziness, fatigue and shortness of breath. It can also lead to heart failure or sudden cardiac arrest if the heart is unable to pump enough blood to
the rest of the body.
For some people — such as younger people and athletes — a slower heart rate is normal, and they don’t need to do anything. For those who need treatment, their options will depend on the type of problem, what’s causing it,
and their symptoms.
Underlying disorders can cause or make bradycardia worse, so treating those conditions may correct the heart rate. However, sometimes treatment may include devices placed in the body to monitor and correct a slow heartbeat such as a pacemaker, implantable
cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or cardiac resynchronization therapy device (CRT). Go to www.CardioSmart.org/Bradycardia to learn more about this condition.
Read the full text of the guidelines: "2018 ACC/AHA/HRS Guideline on the Evaluation and Management of Patients with Bradycardia and Cardiac Conduction Delay."