There is a whole array of possible heart diseases medical experts have to worry about when prescribing medicine to heart patients. A group of researchers decided to figure out whether one of these in particular was poorly addressed when heart medicine was recommended. According to the team’s findings, bradycardia only dangerous if taking heart rate lowering drugs.
- The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine on January 19th
- Coming in at a sizeable 6,733 participants, the study followed them for 10 years
- All the participants were aged between 45 and 84
- No increased mortality rate was found for bradycardia alone
- Those with heart rates over 80 and those with heart rates under 50 and taking heart rate lowering drugs had an elevated risk of mortality
The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, was performed in order to determine whether patients suffering from asymptomatic bradycardia had an elevated risk of death, but also to determine whether doctors should be more careful when prescribing medicine to bradycardia patients.
Asymptomatic Bradycardia is defined as a slower than normal heart rate that comes without other conditions like fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness, and on its own it shows no incline to elevate the sufferer’s mortality risk.
To determine this, the team of researchers looked at 6,733 subjects, all of them participating in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, aged 45 to 84.
Over the ten year duration of the study, the researchers monitored their cardiovascular events, as well as their mortality, and found the average resting heart rate without accompanying heart rate modifying drugs to be 63 beats per minute.
With and without medication, only 5.3% of the subjects had heart rates lower than 50 bpm. But that’s ok, as there were no signs whatsoever of increased danger of developing any cardiovascular disease for these patients.
The groups actually at risk were those with resting heart rates of over 80 bpm, as well as those with heart rates under 50 bpm that were also taking medicine to lower their heart rates.
Generally, a healthy heart rate is somewhere between 60 and 100 bpm, depending on multiple factors like weight, age, physical prowess, and others.
Some of the most popular heart rate lowering drugs are digitalis, beta blockers, nondihydropyridine calcium-channel blockers, and a whole slew of antiarrhythmic medicines.
In the wake of the study, the resaerchers adivse doctors to look carefullt at a patient’s history before prescribing any sort of heart rate modifying drugs.
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