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What causes slow heart beat?

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The normal heart averages between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Sometimes our hearts beat slower than 60 beats per minute. This is called bradycardia. For some people, like athletes and healthy, young adults, this heart rate could be normal. But for others, it could be a sign that your brain and other organs aren’t getting enough oxygen to function like they should.

Bradycardia is caused by a problem with your heart’s electrical system. Your heart simply isn’t getting the signal to beat properly. This can happen for some or all of the following reasons:

  • Damage to heart tissue from age or heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Congenital heart problems, which are present from birth
  • An underactive thyroid
  • Sleep disorders
  • Inflammatory disorders, such as lupus
  • Medications for heart problems, high blood pressure, or mental illness

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: “Skipping a beat -- the surprise of heart palpitations.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Do You Have a Slow or Racing Heartbeat?”

Mayo Clinic: “Tachycardia,” “Bradycardia.”

Heart Rhythm Society: “Slow Heartbeat.”

American College of Cardiology: “Bradycardia (Slow Heart Rate).”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on August 01, 2018

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: “Skipping a beat -- the surprise of heart palpitations.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Do You Have a Slow or Racing Heartbeat?”

Mayo Clinic: “Tachycardia,” “Bradycardia.”

Heart Rhythm Society: “Slow Heartbeat.”

American College of Cardiology: “Bradycardia (Slow Heart Rate).”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on August 01, 2018

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When should I get medical attention if I have a slow heartbeat?

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