Having bradycardia means that your heart beats very slowly. For most people, a heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest is considered normal. If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, it is slower than normal. For some people, a slow heart rate does not cause any problems. It can be a sign of being very fit. Healthy young adults and athletes often have heart rates of less than 60 beats a minute. In other people, bradycardia is a sign of a problem with the heart's electrical system. It means that the heart's natural pacemaker isn't working right or that the electrical pathways of the heart are disrupted. In severe forms of bradycardia, the heart beats so slowly that it doesn't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. This can cause symptoms and can be life-threatening. Men and women age 65 and older are most likely to develop a slow heart rate that needs treatment. Bradycardia can be caused by changes in the heart that are the result of aging. Diseases that damage the heart's electrical system such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, and infections such as endocarditis and myocarditis can contribute to bradycardia. Other conditions that can slow electrical impulses through the heart include having a low thyroid level (hypothyroidism) or an electrolyte imbalance, such as too much potassium in the blood.

slow heart