Does Slow Heart Rate Signal Increased Heart Disease or Mortality Risk?

Ajay Dharod, M.D. Coordinator of Medical Informatics Department of Internal Medicine Wake Forest School of Medicine

Dr. Ajay Dharod

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ajay Dharod, M.D.
Coordinator of Medical Informatics
Department of Internal Medicine
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Dharod: There is a relative paucity of data regarding asymptomatic bradycardia in adults free of clinical cardiovascular disease. Are individuals with low heart rates simply healthy individuals with a non-clinically significant finding or is there a subclinical disease process? That was the question that generated this study. Until now, there had not been any research to determine if a slow heart rate contributed to the development of cardiovascular disease. We found that a heart rate (HR) of less than 50 was not associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease in participants regardless of whether they were taking Heart Rate-modifying drugs, such as beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. However, we did find a potential association between bradycardia and higher mortality rates in individuals taking HR-modifying drugs.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Dharod: For a large majority of people with a heart rate in the 40s or 50s who have no symptoms, the prognosis is very good.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Dharod: Further research is needed to determine whether this association is causally linked to heart rate or to the use of these drugs.

Citation:

Dharod A, Soliman EZ, Dawood F, et al. Association of Asymptomatic Bradycardia With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). JAMA Intern Med.Published online January 19, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7655.

Ajay Dharod, M.D. (2016). Does Slow Heart Rate Signal Increased Heart Disease or Mortality Risk?

More on Heart Disease on MedicalResearch.com