A slow heartbeat in athletes is not so funny

Changes in the ‘funny channel’ of heart’s pacemaker may be behind sinus bradycardia

By Bethany Brookshire, 17:25 PM May 21, 2014

“Yeah, I brought my heart rate down from 80 to 45 beats per minute resting….” The boasting drawl came from behind me as I waited in the starting corral of the Rock and Roll Marathon in Raleigh, N.C. It may seem like an odd comment to those not in endurance sports, but for distance runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes, a sluggish resting heart rate can be a matter of pride.

No one knew exactly what causes athletes to have this slow heartbeat, a condition called sinus bradycardia. Now, a ...

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