Abnormal slowness of the heartbeat.
Persons most commonly affected:
Elderly people of both sexes.
Organ or part of body involved:
Symptoms and indications:
A heart rate below 55 beats per minute. Typical symptoms of bradycardia include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and fainting (syncope).
Causes and risk factors:
May occur either under nervous system control, as in the gag or diving reflexes that cause the heart to slow, or as a general sign of diminishing blood oxygen concentration, as seen with infantile apnea or in shock. It may also be due to post-myocardial infarction or the hypofunction of the thyroid gland.
Drink plenty of water – eight to 10 glasses a day. Eat a heart-healthy diet and eliminate unnecessary stress. Exercise regularly – especially aerobic activity like walking, cycling, jogging, or swimming and maintain a healthy weight. Don’t smoke and linger where there is second-hand smoke – smoking is a leading cause of heart disease. Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, caffeine, or sugary drinks.