Heart & Cardiology/Bradycardia?


Dear Dr. Richardson,

I'm 39.  My resting HR for several years has generally been in the low 50s.  Sometimes it's low 60s, but at other times I have seen it as low as 45, such as last night when I was at home and cold (it was probably 64 degrees in the house and I was in a t-shirt).  

I've been exercising regularly for years but I'm not in amazing shape...I can run a mile in about 7.5 minutes (far from spectacular), and I will get out of breath after long rallies in tennis--so I'm no Lance Armstrong by any means at all.  

Is my low heart rate concerning? I've read that "normal" pulses are between 60-100 and anything less is considered bradycardia.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Hello James,

Yes, it's called sinus bradycardia if below 80.  Sinus bradycardia is normal, no threat.  45 awake and 35 asleep are the lower limits of normal for heart rate.

Please write back if this doesn’t answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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