Slow Heart Does Not Necessarily Increase Death Risk

North Carolina researchers have found out that slow heart rate does not necessarily increase your death risk if there are no other symptoms present. Slow heart rate, also known as Bradycardia is not an indication that a person is having cardiovascular disease, especially if no other classical symptoms accompany it. In this condition, the heart beats less than 50 beats per minute and also can result in light-headedness, fainting or chest pain.

Dr. Ajay Dharod, study lead of Wake Forest Baptist Hospital said that many people having heart rate between 40s and 50s, do not have any symptoms, could qualify for good prognosis. He said that the new findings should reassure patients with asymptomatic bradycardia. During the study, researchers analyzed around 6,773 patients.

Heart beats fewer times in bradycardia

The data of the patients was collected in between 2000 and 2002 as a part of Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. All the patients were in between the age group of 45 and 84 when they were enlisted and were followed regularly for ten years after signing them up for the study. These people did not have any history of cardiovascular disease when they joined the study.

During the study the researchers discovered that the heart of an adult beats between 60 and 100 times/minute at rest, however, if a person has bradycardia, the heart will beat fewer times, around 50 in one minute. Such a condition can cause shortness of breath, light-headedness chest pain or fainting because the slow pumping of the blood fails to provide enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart and the overall body.

It is the first time that research has been carried out to evaluate whether the slow rate of the heart can lead to cardiovascular disease or not. The study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, says that the condition can prove problematic for people who are on medications. Dharod has said that more research is needed to investigate the disease from this angle.