What Is Considered A Fast Heart Rate
The definition of a fast heart rate differs depending on the age of the person experiencing it. Typically, it is defined as have a resting heart rate faster than 100 beats per minute for adults.
A fast heart rate is one that is unexpected for a certain level of physical activity. Usually, most adults resting heart rate usually lies in the range of 60-80 beats per minute, with some heart rates approaching 100 beats per minute.
Factors That Can Affect Resting Heart Rate
In addition to age, a few other factors can affect your resting heart rate.
- Temperature. Your heart rate may increase slightly when youre exposed to hot temperatures.
- Medication side effects. Medications, like beta-blockers, can lower your resting heart rate.
- Emotions. If youre anxious or excited, your heart rate may increase.
- Weight. People with obesity may have a higher resting heart rate. This is because the heart has to work harder to supply the body with blood.
- Anemia. In anemia, low levels of red blood cells can cause the heart to beat faster in order to supply your body with oxygen-rich blood.
- Endocrine or hormonal abnormalities. Abnormal levels of some hormones can influence heart rate. For example, too much thyroid hormone can increase heart rate while too little thyroid hormone can decrease heart rate.
- Postural tachycardia syndrome . This syndrome produces an abnormal increase in heart rate after sitting up or standing. In addition to heart palpitations, some typical symptoms of PoTS include dizziness and fainting.
- Body positioning. Heart rate can increase temporarily when you move from a sitting to a standing position.
- Smoking. Smokers tend to have a higher resting heart rate. Quitting smoking can help bring it back down. This is often difficult, but a doctor can help build a cessation plan that works for you.
Your maximum heart rate is a calculation that helps you figure out what your ideal target heart rate is during exercise.
What Is A Target Heart Rate
According to the AHA , your target heart rate during moderate-intensity activities is about 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Vigorous physical activity should result in about 70 to 85 percent of your maximum.
So for 35-year-olds, a goal target heart rate is between 93 and 157 bpm .
The table below shows the target heart rate range and average maximum heart rate for different ages, based on information from the AHA.
- being an older adult
- problems with the conduction system of the heart
Borderline or occasional bradycardia may not need treatment. But prolonged bradycardia, or bradycardia thats not treated, can become more serious.
Certain underlying conditions are typically the true decider of what a dangerous heart rate is. If youre already living with heart disease, heart failure, or a history of heart disease and notice a fluctuation in your heart rate, you should go to the doctor as soon as you can, as it could be a sign of a serious complication.
Recommended Reading: What Is Target Heart Rate
Diagnosing The Underlying Cause
Your doctor may use a variety of diagnostic tools to help diagnose your condition, including:
- Holter or event monitor. This is a smaller, portable EKG machine you wear for a set amount of time to help your doctor monitor your electrocardiographic signals.
- Electrocardiogram. Also referred to as an ECG or EKG, this diagnostic tool uses small electrodes to record the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor can use the information collected to determine if heart abnormalities are contributing to your condition.
- Stress test. Sometimes called a treadmill test or excercise test, this can help diagnose people whose symptoms may be exercise related.
- A tilt-table test. This measures how your blood pressure and heart rate respond when you go from lying down to standing up. People dealing with fainting spells are usually candidates for a tilt-table test.
- Imaging tests. Imaging can be used to assess if there are any structural abnormalities in your heart that may be contributing to your condition. Possible imaging tests can include echocardiogram, CT scan, and MRI scan.
- Electrophysiologictesting. Done under local anesthesia, this procedure involves temporary electrode catheters being threaded through veins or arteries into the heart to record the hearts electrical signals.
Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will work with you to develop a plan to treat and manage your condition.
When Is Tachycardia Considered Abnormal
Any fast heart rate that originates from anything but the sinus node is characterized as tachyarrhythmia, says Dr. Dwivedi.An is an abnormal heartbeat, so a tachyarrhythmia is an abnormally fast heartbeat. There are many different types of tachyarrhythmias. Some of them are harmless and require no , while others are life-threatening.
Tachyarrhythmias can take time to diagnose. If your doctor suspects you have one, you will undergo an electrocardiogram , a painless, non-invasive test that records your hearts rhythm and helps to pinpoint abnormalities.
If your tachyarrhythmia is not active in your doctors office, you likely will be given a monitor to wear, such as Holter monitor. These devices record your hearts rhythm over a period of 24 hours to two weeks. Your doctor will examine the recordings for signs of a problem. If your arrhythmia happens very infrequently, you might be advised to have a tiny monitor implanted just under the skin of your chest. Such monitors, called loop recorders, can track your heart for a few years.
Lets take a look at the three most common or concerning of these tachyarrhythmias.
Read Also: Is Blood Pressure Related To Heart Rate
Your Target Heart Rate Is What Matters
One way you can compensate for a slower heart rate is to get and stay fit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week.
When you go into serious training, you stretch the cardiac muscles, says Benson. Thats how you improve stroke volume. And, according to the American Heart Association, when your stroke volume is highermeaning your body can pump more blood with each heartbeatthe heart doesnt have to beat as many times to deliver the same amount of blood to your muscles.
So how can you try to exercise at the right intensity? If you own a Fitbit Alta HR, Charge 2, Blaze, or Surge and have your birthday logged in your profile, your tracker can help. Heres how it works: Using the common formula of 220 minus your age, Fitbit will calculate your maximum heart rate and then create three target heart rate zonesfat burn , cardio , and peak based off that number. After exercising, you can click on the workout summary within your exercise tile to see how many minutes you logged in each zone.
These zones explain why my son and I can run togetherat different heart ratesand feel like were expending the same amount of effort.
For instance, at age 15, my sons max heart rate is 205 and his cardio heart rate zone is 144 to 172
Sinus Tach Or Svt 4 Clues To Tell The Difference
Instead of “rules” you have been taught to distinguish sinus tach and SVT, follow these assessment and ECG interpretation tips
Rescue One is called to a car versus tree crash. The driver is a 60-year-old man who is agitated and has slurred speech. His pulse rate is 160 beats per minute. He is uncooperative, but no injuries can be found on survey. He admits to drinking “a lot” of alcohol. His BP is 150/84. This is his ECG:
Does this patient have sinus tachycardia or does the ECG show supraventricular tachycardia? For this discussion, SVT will refer to atrial tachycardia, AVNRT, or AVRT.
Read Also: How To Determine Resting Heart Rate
Ultrasound And Congenital Heart Defects
Your first prenatal ultrasound, which is scheduled sometime between the 6th and 9th week, confirms your pregnancy, determines due date and monitors the heartbeat. Considering that nearly 1% of births every year are known to have congenital heart defects, the doctor observes the structure of the heart to check for any congenital disabilities in the second ultrasound, or the 20th-week anatomy scan .
Though there is no treatment in utero, it helps the doctors decide when and how to deliver the baby. Most congenital issues are corrected after the babys birth, either through surgery or medications. If there is a problem with the fetus heart rhythm, your doctor may suggest medications to decrease the risk of complications in the baby.
Can You Determine Gender Through The Babys Heart
No, the heart rate cannot predict the sex of your baby. There are lots of old wives tales surrounding pregnancy. You may have heard that your babys heart rate can predict their sex as early as the first trimester. If its over 140 bpm, youre having a baby girl. This is typically not valid form of gender determination. It is fun but it does not tell you the gender. You can always guess and perhaps 50% of the time you will be correct since there are only two genders to choose from. We at Pregnancy Treasures are accurate with gender determination if you are 14 weeks into your pregnancy we can tell you via ultrasound. Call or go online for details
Don’t Miss: Why Do Most Heart Attacks Happen In The Bathroom
What Is My Role In Checking Out My Fast Heart Rate
If you are concerned about an elevated heart rate, make sure you arent currently dehydrated, and that you are being treated properly for any related medical condition.
If youve accounted for common causes of an elevated heart rate including reducing or eliminating caffeine and are still experiencing symptoms, make sure to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Getting Older Affects Your Max Heart Rate
The other day I went for a run with my son. Were good training partners: If we raced a 5K today wed finish within less than a minute of each other. I know that wont be the case for long, but these days, when we head out on an easy run, our effort level is roughly the same for the same pace.
At that easy pace, however, his Fitbit tracker shows his heart rate hovering around 175 beats per minute, while mine stays in the low 130s. Even if I started sprinting all out up a hill I wouldnt be able to raise my heart rate to the beats per minute that he hits as soon as he starts working hard. Lately, I max out in the high 160s.
Am I just in better shape than he is? Nope. Its more likely due to the fact that Im 52 years old and hes 15.
Also Check: How To Calculate Your Heart Rate
Look For Rate Variability
SVT starts suddenly then stays at about the same rate until it ends. Sinus rhythms frequently change rates in response to the messages received from the nervous system. So, when we encounter a narrow-complex tachycardia that has gradual speeding up or slowing down over seconds to minutes, it is a sinus tachycardia. If the rate changes abruptly from a slow rate to a fast rate and the fast rate is the same rate from beginning to end, we are looking at PSVT. Be sure to run long enough rhythm strips to appreciate rate changes or to catch the onset or offset of tachycardia.
What Is The Heart Rate
Heart rate or pulse rate is the number of times your heart beats in a minute. It is a simple measure to know how much your heart works during rest or activities.
Heart rate is one of the vital signs that are checked regularly whenever you visit your doctor, or when you get admitted to the hospital.
Your heart rate is lower when you are resting and higher when you are doing any kind of activity, or are feeling stressed or anxious.
When you exercise, your heart needs to work harder, which increases your heart rate. As soon as you rest, the heart rate starts decreasing gradually and returns to its normal level, usually within an hour.
Recommended Reading: Does Ibs Cause Heart Palpitations
Recommended Reading: Open Heart Surgery Vs Stents
Causes Of Supraventricular Tachycardia
An episode of supraventricular tachycardia occurs when abnormal electrical impulses suddenly start in the upper chambers of the heart, and override the heart’s natural rhythm.
SVT is sometimes called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia . Paroxysm means a sudden temporary disturbance of heart rhythm.
PSVT is usually caused by a short circuit in the electrical system of the heart, which causes an electrical signal to travel rapidly and continuously around in a circle, forcing the heart to beat each time it completes the circuit.
Another type of SVT is called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, where an abnormal electrical connection occurs between the atria and ventricles . People with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome are born with a strand of extra muscle tissue between these chambers. This produces a short circuit, which causes the fast heartbeat.
What Happens In Pots
Normally when you sit up or stand, gravity pulls some of your blood down to your belly area, hands and feet.
In response, your blood vessels quickly narrow and your heart rate increases slightly to maintain blood flow to the heart and brain, and prevent blood pressure dropping.
This is all done without needing to think about it, by the autonomic nervous system the nervous system in charge of automatic body functions.
In PoTS, the autonomic nervous system does not work properly. Thereâs a drop in blood supply to the heart and brain when you become upright and the heart races to compensate for this.
You May Like: How To Test For Heart Failure
Does A Babys Heart Rate Fluctuate During Pregnancy
Fetal heart rate is not always consistent early in pregnancy and varies from pregnancy to pregnancy and baby to baby. Following are the factors that might affect the heart rate:
However, it is not right to jump to conclusions about the babys health solely on heart rate. There may be situations in which it is not measured incorrectly. Only follow-up tests could help in determining the babys health condition.
When To See A Doctor About Pots
There are lots of conditions that can cause the same symptoms as POTS. Some of these are more serious than others, so see a doctor as soon as possible if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
You should go to a hospital or emergency department immediately if you have any of the following symptoms, as they may be a sign of a more serious condition:
- heart palpitations or a fast heartbeat that last for more than a few minutes
- fainting or almost fainting
- feeling confused or having trouble understanding what others are saying
- weakness of 1 side of your body, trouble balancing and/or changes in your vision
- any shortness of breath and chest pain
- your existing symptoms suddenly get worse, feel very bad or you feel very unwell
Read Also: How To Slow Down Heart Rate Anxiety
What Does Heart Rate Measure
One of the benefits of doing scientific studies is that sometimes researchers discover an entirely new set of results. These can be very different to what they set out to find in the first place. And interestingly, this is what happened when they were looking for a correlation between fetal heart rate and gender. What was found instead was that there is a change in baby heart rate according to their gestational age. As the baby matures, the heart rate adjusts to its size.
Likewise, the more active the baby, the higher their heart rate will be. Just like us, during periods of inactivity and sleep, their heart rate tends to slow down. This is because any additional movement requires oxygen to supply the muscles.
Running Slower To Get Faster
I discovered low heart rate training a few years ago. One of my friends bought a heart rate monitor and I tried it out on one of my daily training runs. I was shocked to find my heart rate was around 180 on even my easy runs. I felt no strain while running but on reflection I realised I would often feel tired during the day and would regularly get colds and flu-like symptoms.
Around this time I discovered Phil Maffetone, a running coach who had trained the famous triathlete Mark Allen and was one of the pioneers of low heart rate training. Triathletes often overtrain because of the volume of training they have to do.
Maffetone had discovered that many athletes were very fit but at the same time unhealthy owing to overtraining. So after much research he came up with a form of low heart rate training which improved aerobic function without overtraining.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When Someone Has A Heart Attack
Is Your Heart Rate Linked To Blood Pressure
If youre exercising or feeling anxious, both your heart rate and blood pressure normally increase. But even if your resting heart rate is within the normal limits, this doesnt necessarily mean your blood pressure is, too, as your blood pressure is very different from your heart rate. Your blood pressure is the force needed to push your blood along the arteries in your body, while your heart rate is how many times this happens each minute. Although this process requires a certain amount of pressure, if it becomes too high over a sustained period, it can cause your heart to become enlarged. This could eventually lead to heart failure.
Read Also: Medicine To Slow Heart Rate Down