What is bradycardia?

It is a term that describes when a person’s heartbeat is slower than normal.

A normal heart beats 60 – 80 times a minute. Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood throughout the body. However, the heart’s "natural pacemaker" can operate too slowly, and the chambers of the heart don’t contract often enough to send enough blood and oxygen to your body. This is called bradycardia.

  • The condition can affect people of all ages. It is most common in older adults.
  • Each year about 600,000 pacemakers are implanted to treat people with bradycardia.1


  1. Mark A. Wood, Kenneth A. Ellenbogen. Cardiac Pacemakers from the Patient’s Perspective. Circulation. 2002;105:2136-2138.