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Old 05-12-2018, 02:00 PM
JimWoo50 JimWoo50 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chicago sw suburbs
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Default Bradycardia?

My hangar neighbor says he has pulse rate of 45 while resting and was diagnosed with Bradycardia. He is about 60yrs and average ht and wt. I have never heard of this and always thought a low pulse rate was good. I told him I would ask on VAF for more info as to how it would affect his flying. So if anyone has experience or info Iím sure he would appreciate it.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:23 PM
YellowJacket RV9 YellowJacket RV9 is offline
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Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH
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Not a doctor, but a paramedic so I do look at lots of EKG's. In and of itself that heart rate is fine if it is a regular sinus rhythm, and if it increases with exertion, which is probably what the AME will look for. If it is irregular, or there are other issues such as an AV block or bundle branch block then there may be concerns but even then the FAA guidance is fairly relaxed as long as there is no structural heart damage found.

Here is some FAA guidance:

I had a recent patient who broke his hip in a bicycle accident. He was 70 years old and said he rode 50 miles a day. His heart rate was 45 and he said that was high for him, probably due to the pain.

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Last edited by YellowJacket RV9 : 05-12-2018 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:31 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
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Location: Boulder, CO
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If your heart rate is normally that low and you should ever need a pacemaker, be aware that it probably won't recognize that rate as normal and that could cause problems. It did for a friend of mine.

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Old 05-12-2018, 06:50 PM
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Paddy Paddy is offline
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Default Low Resting Heart Rate

Endurance athletes regularly have resting heart rates in the 40's. I was a Cat-1 bike racer for many years and saw resting rate as low as 38 when I had good form. This did cause questions from doctors, but when I explained that I also had a VO2 max of 78 and a hematocrit in the high 40's (unassisted), they were generally satisfied
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:08 AM
bobnoffs bobnoffs is offline
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Location: n. wi
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chris is pretty much right on. bradycardia describes a heartrate less than 60. just like tachycardia describes a rate greater than 100. sinus bradycardia is good, it defines the rate as being generated by the normal neuro path. more investigation is needed. sinus bradycardia is one thing,bradycardia can be quite another.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:45 AM
mturnerb mturnerb is offline
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Location: Ponte Vedra, FL
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As others have said, bradycardia is of no concern if blood pressure and blood flow are normal - athletes have very efficient cardiovascular systems and do just fine with resting heart rates that are below "normal". Some medications (i.e. beta blockers for hypertension) lower resting heart rate as well.

In your friend's case, "bradycardia" is probably applied simply as a term that means heart rate is lower than the "normal" range (usually 60-100 BPM). It's a description rather than a diagnosis. Most physicians would ask the usual questions (exercise history, medications etc) and do nothing more (assuming EKG has been done) if there are no symptoms of concern. Typical symptoms I'd be asking about would be syncope (passing out), weakness/dizziness, postural symptoms - such as feeling dizzy or weak when suddenly standing up from sitting or lying position. If none of these are present and history makes sense (meds, exercise, or simply "it's always been low"), it's of little or no concern.
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Last edited by mturnerb : 05-13-2018 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:57 AM
JimWoo50 JimWoo50 is offline
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Default Thanks

For the info. I will pass it on.
Jim Woolard C56
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:32 PM
kaweeka kaweeka is offline
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Location: Roseville
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As with what others said, it depends more on the reason for the rate rather than the rate itself. It may be physiologically normal with excellent conditioning or a sign of deeper pathology. In addition to an ECG, an echocardiogram would give information into hemodynamics.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:16 PM
Jetj01 Jetj01 is offline
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Posts: 325
Default Bradycardia

As a guy with bradycardia, as one gets older, and we all do, bradycardia gets to be more problematic and the reason is with a slow heart rate IF there is a problem, your heart rates being low starts reducing the options if a ‘problem’ happens. So my heart went from being described as ‘athletes heart’ to ‘bradycardia’ and when it got ‘too low’ (41 bpm) I got a pacemaker, and not given a choice in the matter. Two months later and some change I got my Class 1 medical back and that was 10 years ago and several trips around the world. No biggy ��
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Last edited by Jetj01 : 05-13-2018 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:48 AM
pjoshyjosh pjoshyjosh is offline
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Location: Camas, Wa
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Does anyone with Bradycardia have issues with drowsiness while at resting heart rate? I know someone who has had 2 car accidents but didn't realize he was falling asleep until after the accident - and then EKGs showed heart rate once in the low 40s and once right after the accident while strapped to a gurney still being around 70 (with all the excitement and shock should have been much higher)

So far he has not been diagnosed with any issue. EchoCardiogram complete, EEGs complete and no diagnosis (not even Bradycardia specifically).
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