British Heart Foundation

Has anyone else experience a slowing of the SA node?

My average heartrate has dropped from 77 to 63, I've had thyroid, iron and heart tested, everythings come back good, one doctor just said "it's 'just' a slowing of the SA node, if you're symptomatic you can have a pacemaker installed", but given me no indication as to why a SA node would suddenly slow, and I don't consider this change "just" or having a pacemaker installed a minor thing. Anyone else had issues with a slowing of their SA node or cardiac atrophy? Has it affected you much? Did you have anything done about it?

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I am 81 years old. My heart rate used to drop to zero for up to 60 seconds. Following usual test I had a loop recorder inserted under the skin. This gave a clear pattern of my irregular heart rate. Last June I had a pacemaker fitted. No problems with the fitting (No pain or discomfort ) I now feel 10 years younger. I work my garden & play golf. Talk to your Doctor, if he/she recommends a PM go for it. I have NO regrets.

Best of luck.

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Hi Nick111,

I'm sorry you're having concerns regarding your heart . I just want to clarify that the sinus node doesn't slow down itself.

It's otherwise known as the 'natural' pacemaker of the heart. It's a collection of specialised cells where electrical impulses start in the top chamber of the heart. They then follows a 'pathway' so the heart initiates a heartbeat- we call this the conduction system.

If an impulse starts in the sinus node it is known as a sinus rhythm. If it is slow ( less than 60 beats per minute) it is called sinus bradycardia. In some people,if the speed at which the impulse starts to travel becomes too slow, it can make people feel light headed as it takes longer for the impulse spread through the heart and the heart rate drops. This can happen with some heart medication as well as some other medical conditions which your doctor appears to have excluded.

I believe this is what your doctor is hinting at. If you are otherwise well, I would suggest keeping an eye on any symptoms to mention to your GP,such as feeling faint or blacking out. These are all possible signs that the conduction system isn't working as well as it should.

I hope I've helped.

Take care,


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