Overview of Bradycardia

Bradycardia Meaning in Urdu

اس بیماری کی وجہ سے دل کی دھڑکن سست ہو جاتی ہے۔ عام طور پر صحت مند افراد کا دل ایک منٹ میں  ساٹھ سے سو مرتبہ تک دھڑکتا ہے۔ لیکن اس بیماری کے متاثرکرنے کی وجہ سے ایک منٹ میں دل ساٹھ سے بھی کم مرتبہ دھڑکتا ہے۔ دل کے کم دھڑکنے کی وجہ سے دوسرے جسمانی اعضاء جیسا کہ دماغ کو آکسیجن حاصل کرنے میں مشکلات کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے جس کی وجہ سے سینے میں درد، کنفیوژن، سر چکرانا، تھکاوٹ لاحق ہو سکتی ہے اور سانس لینے میں مشکل پیش آ سکتی ہے۔ اس بیماری کا خطرہ بوڑھے افراد میں زیادہ ہوتا ہے۔


Bradycardia is a medical condition characterized by an abnormally slow heart rate. Bradycardia meaning suggests a heart rate of fewer than 60 beats per minute (BPM) in adults. It can happen due to various factors, including certain medications, problems with the heart’s electrical conduction system, an underactive thyroid gland, and other underlying medical conditions.

Some people with bradycardia may not experience any symptoms, while others may experience dizziness, fainting, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, or confusion. Treatment for bradycardia depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition and may include medications, lifestyle changes, or surgery in more severe cases.

Prevalence of Bradycardia:

Globally, Bradycardia is prevalent in approximately 1 in 600 individuals

Signs and Symptoms of Bradycardia

While some people with bradycardia may not experience any symptoms, others may experience the following:

  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting or near-fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Palpitations (feeling like your heart is skipping a beat or beating too slowly)

If you experience any of these Bradycardia symptoms, consult a doctor immediately. Depending on the severity of your bradycardia symptoms, your doctor may recommend treatment, medication, or a pacemaker.

Types of Bradycardia

Different Bradycardia types include:

  • Sinus Bradycardia: This is the most common type of bradycardia, and it occurs when the heart's natural pacemaker, the sinus node, slows down and produces fewer electrical impulses than normal.
  • Atrioventricular (AV) Block: It occurs when the electrical signals between the atria (upper chambers of the heart) and the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) get delayed or blocked, resulting in a slower heart rate.
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome: It is a group of disorders that affect the sinus node's ability to generate electrical impulses, leading to an irregular heart rate and sometimes bradycardia.
  • Tachy-Brady Syndrome: Also known as Tachycardia-Brachycardia Syndrome, this disease represents periods of fast heartbeat (tachy) followed by slow heart rhythms (brachy). It happens when the heart’s natural pacemaker gets damaged. It is usually common in people diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. 
  • Idiopathic (Unknown Cause) Bradycardia: Sometimes, doctors cannot identify the cause of bradycardia, terming it idiopathic bradycardia.
  • Drug-Induced Bradycardia: Certain medications like beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers, can slow the heart rate and cause bradycardia.
  • Neurological (or Neurally-Mediated) Bradycardia: It happens when abnormalities occur in the autonomic nervous system, which regulates the heart rate. It gets triggered by specific activities, such as swallowing or standing up quickly.
  • Hypothyroidism-Induced Bradycardia: When the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, it can affect the heart rate and cause bradycardia.
  • Athlete's Bradycardia: Athletes or people who engage in regular physical activity may have a slower heart rate than normal, but this is usually not a cause for concern unless it causes symptoms.

Causes of Bradycardia

Bradycardia causes issues with the heart's electrical system or underlying medical conditions. Some common Bradycardia causes are:

  • Sinus Node Dysfunction: The sinus node is located in the heart’s upper right chamber. It is responsible for setting the heart’s rhythm. When the sinus node fails to generate electrical impulses at a normal rate, bradycardia can occur. 
  • Heart Block: Heart block occurs when the electrical signals that control the heart's rhythm get delayed or blocked as they travel from the heart’s upper to the lower chambers. It can cause the heart rate to slow down or become irregular.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and certain antiarrhythmic drugs, can cause bradycardia as a side effect.
  • Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland can lead to a slow heart rate, as thyroid hormones play a key role in regulating the heart's metabolism.
  • Aging: Our hearts naturally slow down due to changes in the heart's electrical system or decreased physical activity over time. 
  • Other Medical Conditions: Bradycardia can also occur in other medical conditions, such as heart disease, electrolyte imbalances, sleep apnea, and neurological disorders.

If you are experiencing bradycardia or other symptoms related to your heart rate, speak with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment options.


Risk Factors of Bradycardia

Bradycardia risk factors include:

  • Aging: As people age, the heart’s electrical system may deteriorate, causing it to beat more slowly.
  • Heart Disease: Any type of heart disease, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure, or valve disease, can increase the risk of developing bradycardia.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and some heart rhythm drugs, can cause the heart rate to slow down.
  • Infection: Certain infections, like Lyme disease or viral infections, can affect the heart’s electrical system and cause bradycardia.
  • Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland can affect the heart's electrical system and cause bradycardia.
  • Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea, a condition where breathing stops and restarts during sleep, can cause the heart rate to slow down.
  • Electrolyte Imbalances: Abnormal levels of electrolytes, such as potassium or calcium, in the blood can affect the heart's electrical system and cause bradycardia.
  • Genetics: In some cases, bradycardia may be inherited or due to a genetic condition.

It's important to note that some individuals may have no apparent risk factors and develop bradycardia. If you are experiencing symptoms of bradycardia, such as dizziness, fainting, or chest pain, consult a doctor for an evaluation.

Complications of Bradycardia:

While in some cases, bradycardia may not cause any symptoms or complications, in other cases, it can lead to other health problems. Some of the potential Bradycardia health complications include:

  • Fatigue and Weakness: A slow heart rate can lead to decreased blood flow toward the body, which can cause fatigue and weakness.
  • Dizziness and Fainting: Reduced blood flow to the brain due to a slow heart rate can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
  • Chest Pain and Shortness of Breath: In some cases, bradycardia can cause chest pain or shortness of breath, particularly during physical activity or exercise.
  • Heart Failure: Bradycardia can also cause heart failure when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.
  • Stroke: Bradycardia can increase the risk of stroke, as slow blood flow can lead to the formation of blood clots.
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest: In severe cases, bradycardia can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, in which the heart suddenly stops beating, leading to loss of consciousness and potentially death.

It's important to note that not all cases of bradycardia require treatment, and the risk of complications depends on the underlying cause of the slow heart rate.



While some people with bradycardia may not require any treatment, others may need interventions to prevent symptoms or complications.

Here are some ways to Bradycardia prevention:

  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Engage in regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Manage Underlying Health Conditions: Bradycardia may be a symptom of an underlying condition such as hypothyroidism, heart disease, or sleep apnea. Treating these conditions can help prevent bradycardia.
  • Avoid medications that can cause bradycardia: Some medications, like beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and certain anti-arrhythmic drugs, can slow down the heart rate. If you are taking any of these medications and are experiencing bradycardia symptoms, talk to your doctor.
  • Avoid triggers: Certain situations or activities may trigger bradycardia, such as extreme temperatures, high altitude, or sudden changes in posture. If you have a history of bradycardia, avoid these triggers.
  • Regular medical check-ups: Regular check-ups with your doctor can help identify any underlying conditions or medications that may be causing bradycardia.

If you experience symptoms of bradycardia, such as dizziness, fainting, fatigue, or shortness of breath, seek medical attention immediately.



Bradycardia diagnosis involves a thorough medical evaluation, including:

  • Physical Examination: A doctor will perform a physical examination to check for signs of bradycardia, such as a slow pulse or low blood pressure.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): An ECG is a non-invasive test. It measures the electrical activity of the heart. It can help identify abnormal heart rhythms, including bradycardia.
  • Holter Monitor: A Holter monitor is a small, portable device that records the heart's electrical activity over 24-48 hours. It can help identify bradycardia that occurs sporadically.
  • Event Recorder: An event recorder is a device that records the heart's electrical activity when the patient is experiencing symptoms of bradycardia. It can help diagnose bradycardia that occurs infrequently.
  • Blood Tests: Blood tests can help identify underlying conditions that may be causing bradycardia, such as thyroid disorders or electrolyte imbalances.
  • Echocardiogram: It is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to create images of the heart. It can help identify any structural abnormalities or damage to the heart muscle that may be causing bradycardia.

After the Bradycardia diagnosis, a Cardiologist will determine the underlying cause and recommend an appropriate treatment.

Treatment of Bradycardia | When to Consult a Doctor

Bradycardia treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and underlying cause. Some treatments include:

  • Observation and monitoring: Mild cases of bradycardia may not require treatment but only monitoring by a healthcare provider.
  • Medications: In severe cases of Bradycardia, medications containing atropine or epinephrine may help increase heart rate.
  • Pacemaker: A pacemaker is a medical device implanted in the chest and connected to the heart to regulate heart rate. It can help treat bradycardia that is not responsive to medication.
  • Treating underlying medical conditions: Bradycardia may be due to underlying medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism. Treating these ailments can resolve bradycardia.

It's important to note that only a Cardiologist should treat bradycardia. He can determine the best course of action based on an individual's condition and medical history.