Bradycardia

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bradycardia describes a heart beat which is either habitually slow, or which drops from its usual rate. In health, bradycardia may be the result of athletic training, which reduces the resting heart rate. Persons with heart block have persistent or intermittent bradycardia. Sudden bradycardia can result in a dramatic fall in cardiac output and hence in arterial blood pressure, depriving the brain of blood flow and causing a ‘black-out’. Fainting (‘syncope’) is one such instance, caused by depression of the heart's pacemaker by the parasympathetic (vagus) nerves; acute exacerbation of heart block is another. From the Greek for ‘slow’ and ‘heart’.

Stuart Judge


See heart block; syncope; fainting.
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brad·y·car·di·a / ˌbradiˈkärdēə/ • n. Med. abnormally slow heart action.

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bradycardia A decrease in heart rate. See tachycardia.

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bradycardia An unusually slow heartbeat, less than 60 beats/min. Such a low rate may be normal in trained athletes.

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bradycardia (brad-i-kar-diă) n. slowing of the heart rate to less than 50 beats per minute.

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bradycardia A condition in which the heart rate is reduced substantially.

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bradycardia A condition in which the heart rate is reduced substantially.