BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Latest study shows that bradycardia patients are not at risk for heart disease. According to Doctor Ajay Dharod, the lead researcher in the study, people whose heart beats slower than normal (bradycardia) are not at risk to develop heart disease later on in their life.
In order to measure your heartbeat, you can place the index and the middle finger of your right hand onto the veins on your left (usually those at the wrist level). After finding the pulse, you can proceed to count the beats for an interval of 10 seconds. At the end, you multiply your result with 6 and you get the heartbeat rate. The procedure can also be applied at the carotid artery level if you feel that the pulse is easier to find there.
Dr. Dharod, who is an internal medicine instructor at the Baptist Medical Center from Wake Forest declared that patients that suffered from an asymptomatic form of bradycardia (that had a heart rate in between 40 and 50 beats per minute) presented no additional risks of developing a cardiovascular disease than any other patient with a normal heart beat (between 60 and 100 beats per minute).
The cited study was conducted on a sample of 6,733 patients. It started in 2000 and ended in 2002. The participants chosen to be monitored were followed closely by the team of physicians for almost a decade.
Another interesting find of doctor Dharod’s team was the fact that they did not found an increased mortality risk in patients that did not take the medication meant to improve their heart rate. The levels of mortality were the same in patients with a slow heartbeat, an increased heartbeat (usually over 80 beats per minute) that took the prescribed medication and those who didn’t.
But there are risks for people who suffer from bradycardia. Doctor Dharod says that asymptomatic bradycardia is dangerous for those who haven’t been diagnosed because there are a couple of treatments that have a lower heartbeat as a side effect. And even though bradycardia patients are not at risk for heart disease, this kind of effects can put a patient at a great risk.
The symptoms for bradycardia are usually shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting, nausea and light-headedness. Asymptomatic bradycardia, as the name suggests it, doesn’t present itself with symptoms and so patients could live with it for years. The best way to rule it out is to have regular routine check-ups. Even though bradycardia patients are not at risk for heart disease, it is always better to rule out any danger.
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