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, disturbance in the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. Various arrhythmias can be symptoms of serious heart disorders; however, they are usually of no medical significance except in the presence of additional symptoms.
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decrease in frequency of heart contractions to less than 60 beats per minute.
Bradycardia may be found as a normal, constitutionally conditioned phenomenon in perfectly healthy persons, in well-trained athletes, and as one of the symptoms in many diseases. More often, bradycardia is observed as a result of organic disturbances of auriculoventricular conductivity—heart blockage, myocardial infarction, and inflammatory (infectious or toxic) diseases of the heart muscle. Complete blockage of the heart with a pulse frequency of 30–40 beats per minute or less threatens brain complications: loss of consciousness, convulsions, and cessation of heart activity. Prophylaxis and treatment are directed toward removal of the cause.