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Factors that affect the management of bradycardia include the cause of the condition, the severity of the condition, and heart disease. Bradycardia itself is a medical condition in which the heart beats at a slower rate than normal. In general, this means that the heart rate consists of less than 60 beats per minute. Management of bradycardia is important because a slow heart rate can have negative effects on the body. Since the heart pumps blood and oxygen to the rest of the body, a slow heart rate can play a role in how efficiently the body functions.
In general, bradycardia is caused by electrical problems within the heart. Either the electrical signals that tell the heart to beat are slow, or they do not reach the designated area because they are blocked. Other causes of bradycardia include medications and underlying conditions. The exact cause affects the management of bradycardia because it helps determine the best course of action. For example, if a medication is responsible for bradycardia, a doctor might recommend that the affected person change medications, or take a lower dosage of the medication.
The severity of symptoms a person experiences can often be an indicator of the severity of a person’s condition. Symptoms associated with bradycardia include chest pains, dizziness and fatigue. Shortness of breath, tiredness and weakness are symptoms of the condition as well. These symptoms are caused by lack of blood and oxygen delivered to the body by the heart as a result of a slow heart rate. While bradycardia might cause these symptoms in some people, others do not exhibit any symptoms at all.
Heart disease can complicate the management of bradycardia. This is because when heart disease exists alongside a slow heart rate, the severity and management of the heart disease itself might affect the prognosis for bradycardia. In addition, a risk factor for bradycardia is heart disease. As such, risk factors for heart disease are also seen as risk factors for bradycardia. These risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.
Bradycardia does not always require management or treatment, but if the condition warrants, there are a variety of options available. Management of bradycardia includes lifestyle changes, medication and the use of a pacemaker. The type of treatment a person receives will depend on his or her specific condition. Overall, the outcome of bradycardia depends on the factors that play a role in the management of the condition itself.