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Bradycardia is a condition in which your heart beats very slowly. A normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. If your heart beats less than 60 times per minute, it is considered a slow heart rate. While a slow heart rate does not necessarily mean there is a problem, it is important for an expert cardiologist to diagnose you to rule out any conditions.
Slow Heart Rhythms: Advanced Care in Burlington, VT
Our doctors have years of experience diagnosing and experiencing bradycardia. A slow heart rate could mean there is a disruption in the heart's normal electrical impulses that control the rate of pumping. In severe cases, the heart beats so slowly it cannot pump blood efficiently throughout the body. This can lead to life-threatening complications.
Bradycardia often develops as you age and the electrical system of the heart slows down. People 65 years of age and older are more likely to experience bradycardia that needs treatment.
Risk factors for developing bradycardia include:
- Heart disease, including coronary artery disease and heart attack
- Conditions that slow the heart's electrical system, such as low thyroid level
- Certain medications that treat other heart problems or high blood pressure
Some people may have bradycardia without serious symptoms or complications. Others may experience symptoms including:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Diagnosis and Treatment: Slow Heart Rhythms
The University of Vermont Medical Center's highly skilled and experienced heart rhythm team offers the latest diagnostic tests and procedures to help determine the cause of a slow heartbeat.
Your specific treatment plan will often depend on what is causing the bradycardia and the severity of your symptoms.