High ‘resting’ Heart Rate And Odds Of Early Death
But more research is needed before this can used as a marker, expert says
MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2015 — A rapid “resting” heartbeat might mean you have a higher risk of dying early, researchers suggest.
“Higher resting heart rate is an independent predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular death,” said lead researcher Dr. Dongfeng Zhang, of the department of epidemiology at the Medical College of Qingdao University in Shandong, China.
Your resting heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times your heart beats a minute. When you’re seated or lying down and relaxed, a normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats a minute, according to the American Heart Association.
Zhang’s team analyzed 46 studies involving more than 2 million patients in all. Compared to people with the lowest resting heart rate, those with a resting heart rate of more than 80 beats a minute had a 45 percent greater risk of death from any cause, while people with a resting heart rate of 60 to 80 beats a minute had a 21 percent greater risk, they found.
However, Zhang said the absolute risk is small — that is, the odds of any one person dying from a rapid resting heart rate are low, he said. Also, the study doesn’t prove that heart rate actually caused premature deaths; it merely finds an association between the two.
You can check your heart rate by putting your finger over your pulse and counting the number of beats in 60 seconds, the heart association says.
A Low Pulse Or Blood Pressure Always Indicates A Problem
False: Whats healthy for one person may indicate danger for another. For example, a fit person may have a resting heart rate in their 50s or, in some cases, even their 40s. It can actually be a sign of being in really good shape, Dr. Laffin says.
Low blood pressure can be a bit trickier, especially in older patients and those with heart disease. If youre in danger from low blood pressure, your body will tell you. Its really about how you feel, Dr. Laffin says. Are you feeling weak? The numbers on their own dont tell the story; its the numbers paired with the symptoms you may have.
What To Expect At The Doctors
Your doctor may use a variety of diagnostic tools to help diagnose your condition, including:
- 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.
- 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.
- Laboratory tests. Your doctor may order blood tests to determine if your condition is caused by something such as an electrolyte imbalance or thyroid disease.
Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will work with you to develop a plan to treat and manage your condition.
Depending on the findings from the diagnostic tests, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist. A cardiologist specializes in treating and preventing diseases of the heart and circulatory system.
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What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will examine you and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms.
You may be asked:
- Do you feel skipped or stopped beats?
- Does your heart rate feel slow or fast when you have the palpitations?
- Do you feel a racing, pounding, or fluttering?
- Is there a regular or irregular pattern to the unusual heartbeat sensations?
- Did the palpitations begin or end suddenly?
- When do the palpitations occur? In response to reminders of a traumatic event? When you are lying down and resting? When you change your body position? When you feel emotional?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
An electrocardiogram;may be done.
If you go to an emergency room, you will be connected to a heart monitor.;However, most people with palpitations do not need to go to an emergency room for treatment.
If your provider finds you have an abnormal heart rhythm, other tests may be done. This may include:
- Holter monitor for 24 hours, or another heart monitor for;2 weeks or longer
Atrial Fibrillation & Strokes
Atrial fibrillation is a serious condition that can be life-threatening. As many as six million people in the US may have atrial fibrillation. But one in three people who have A-Fib dont know they have it.
A-Fib may also increase your chances of having a stroke.
Thats because A-Fibs irregular heartbeat lets blood pool inside the upper chambers of your heart. This pooled blood can cause blood clots, which can then travel out of your heart and into your brain, which causes a stroke.
If you think you may have A-Fib, its important to make an appointment with a cardiologist.
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Causes Of Low Blood Pressure And High Pulse Rate
The human body relies on a balanced level of both blood pressure and heart rate, with both depending on each other to varying extents. The heart needs to pump blood between 80 to 100 beats per minute to ensure that organs and tissues are receiving appropriate perfusion. The heart rate can modify itself, as if it senses that a part of the body is not getting enough blood, it will begin to speed up, developing a heart rate over 100 beats per minute to compensate.
While this a considered a normal phenomenon, there are instances where this can occur due to a secondary cause or be the result of a chronic disorder affecting the heart or the brain. The following are some origins of low blood pressure and high heart rate.
Neurally mediated hypotension : Due to faulty brain signals that fail to accurately recognize a state of low blood in the ventricle of the heart while standing. This condition often results in pooling of blood in the lower extremities and fainting .
Vasovagal syncope: Also referred to as vasodepressor syncope or neurocardiogenic syncope, this condition leads to a drop in blood pressure, which is quickly followed by a faster then slower heart rate. Because this leads to poor blood and oxygen flow to the brain, those affected often suffer from a temporary loss of consciousness.
Other causes include:
Does This Really Matter If Youve Finally Got Low Blood Pressure
Heart rhythm problems that affect the upper heart chamber can put you at an increased risk for stroke, heart failure or death. Heres why:
If youre diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm, you may need to take blood-thinning medications, plus one of the treatments above, to decrease your risk of stroke. Your doctor can help you get the right care to keep everything steady and stable so the only time your heart is racing is while youre watching Stranger Things.
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Why Does My Heart Rate Spike When Im Asleep
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The reason your heart rate spikes while you are sleeping is usually the same reason it would while awakewith a few notable exceptions. Knowing the reasons your heart rate might spike is essential, as is seeking help if it keeps happening, or you suffer a severe bout of it.
Know What Different Heart Rate Zones Feel Like Stay Out Of The Danger Zone
Just because your heart is pumping and youre feeling fatigued doesnt mean youre working out in the danger zone. The key is understanding your running heart rate and those zones the aerobic system, the lactic threshold system, and the anaerobic system and what they feel like so you know when youve moved past them.
If you dont have a monitor , there are other physical markers to estimate which system youre training, such as the talking test.
Generally during a run, youre in one of those three zones. If youre working with a heart rate monitor, its easy to see what heart rate zone youre working within. But if you dont have a monitor , there are other physical markers to estimate which system youre training, such as the talking test.
If you can speak in full sentences, youre likely in the aerobic zone. If you can say a few words at a time, youre probably in the lactic threshold zone. And if you can barely get out one or two words, youve probably found yourself in the anaerobic zone.
If you start to hyperventilate or get dizzy, your heart rate is probably too high, and you should stop and rest, says Jason Lakritz, PT, DPT, physical therapist at Finish Line Physical Therapy in New York City and founder of Profunctional Running.
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How To Measure Heart Rate
Measuring your heart rate is easy to do if you follow some simple steps. The easiest place to measure your heart rate is on your wrist, just below the base of the thumb. Place your index and middle fingers between the bone and tendon at the base of your thumb. Once you feel your pulse, count the number of beats you feel in 15 seconds. Once youve counted how many pulses, youll multiply that number by four. This gives you the total amount of times your heart beats in one minute. For example, if your heart beats 18 times in 15 seconds, your heart rate is 72 beats per minute.
Its important to measure your heart rate when youre in a relaxed state. If you take your pulse after any strenuous activity, you wont get an accurate reading. You should wait for one to two hours after exercising to take your resting heart rate, and an hour after consuming caffeine, according to Harvard Health.
How To Calculate Resting Heart Rate
To check your normal resting heart rate, you can use a heart rate monitor, or use this 10-second pulse count method:
- Take your pulse at either the base of your thumb on the palm side of your wrist, or the base of your neck on either side of your windpipe.
- Using two or three fingers, press lightly on your skin until you can feel your blood moving underneath.
- Count the beats for 10 seconds, then multiply that number by six.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Sudden Increase In Heart Rate
When the heart beats too quickly, it is not able to effectively pump blood to the other organs of your body. This may deprive the tissues and organs of your body of oxygen and may result in the following symptoms and signs related to tachycardia:
- Heart palpitations, irregular, uncomfortable or racing heartbeat or flopping sensation in chest
- Fainting or syncope
In some individuals,;tachycardia may produce no symptoms and signs and the condition is discovered when a physical exam is conducted or during an electrocardiogram .
When to Visit Your Physician?
Symptoms of tachycardia and increased heart rate can be caused by numerous medical conditions. Its imperative to get accurate and prompt diagnosis of the condition and appropriate treatment. You should visit your physician if either your kid or you develop any symptoms of tachycardia.
If you develop a fainting episode, have difficulty in breathing or develop chest pain that lasts longer than few minutes, it is imperative to get immediate emergency medical care or you should call your local medical emergency number or 911. You should seek immediate emergency care if anyone else is having these symptoms.
The severity of complications of sudden increase in heart rate;varies, depending on several factors including the kind of tachycardia, the duration and rate of tachycardia and presence of other problems of heart. Some of the possible complications are:
Things Your Resting Heart Rate Can Tell You About Your Health
Your resting heart rate is a number you may not think about very often. But what if I told you its one of the most important numbers you should know. Not only can your resting heart rate be used to track your fitness level and target your workouts, but it can also alert you to a variety of potential health issues. So get to know your resting heart rateand whats normal for youthrough the Fitbit app and then learn how it can help inform your health.
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The Conduction System Of The Heart
The heart has its own natural pacemaker made up of a specialized collection of cells in the top chamber of the heart known as the SA node. This generates an impulse that travels through another collection of cells in the middle of the heart known as the AV node. The pathways taken by the impulses are known as the conduction system.
Problems with a low heart rate can be caused by dysfunction of the SA node, the AV node or the conduction system! It gets even more complex. The conduction system of the heart has many nerves attached to it; some of these nerves decrease the rate of conduction whereas others increase the rate of conduction. The nerves that decrease the rate of conduction and therefore lower heart rate are known as parasympathetic nerves. An example is when someone vomits; this can increase impulses in the parasympathetic nerves and slow the heart rate significantly for a while. This can even lead to passing out, which is known as a vagal event.
A balance of impulse from the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nerves determine a persons baseline heart rate. Interestingly, in experiments where a persons nerve supply is blocked, the heart rate is often higher; this would suggest that the parasympathetic nerve impulses that serve to slow the heart rate down are the predominant force under normal resting conditions. This is particularly evident at night when most people have a significant drop in heart rate.
Your Maximum Heart Rate
The rate at which your heart is beating when it is working its hardest to meet your body’s oxygen needs is your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate plays a major role in setting your aerobic capacitythe amount of oxygen you are able to consume. Several large observational studies have indicated that a high aerobic capacity is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and death. And a small controlled trial demonstrated that men and women with mild cognitive impairment who raised their aerobic capacity also improved their performance on tests of memory and reasoning.
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What Your Resting Heart Rate Says About You
If you want to know more about your cardiovascular health, weve got one big question for you: Do you know what your resting heart rate is?;
Your resting heart rate can tell you a lot about your cardiovascular health and while some of what it says may seem scary at first, dont worry! There are ways to improve your cardiovascular health. At Tri-City Medical Center, we see patients with high resting heart rates lower theirs to healthier levels all the time.
Heres a little background on just what your heart might be trying to tell you.
When You Measure Matters
True: To measure your resting heart rate and blood pressure, pick a reliable and reproducible time, Dr. Laffin advises. Ideally, check in the morning before medications and occasionally in the evening, around dinner time. Dont take your readings right after exercising unless youre trying to establish a baseline for whats called active blood pressure and heart rate.
During readings, you want to be in a resting position with your legs uncrossed. Many people dont realize that crossing your legs while taking a reading may cause an eight to 10 point increase in systolic blood pressure.
Which measure is more important? This depends on your health, too. For patients with;atrial fibrillation, heart rate might be more important to watch, but many other heart diseases depend more on blood pressure. To be safe, measure both.
Almost all automated kits you buy at a store provide blood pressure and pulse on one readout, Dr. Laffin says. Its convenient and knowing both numbers helps better understand how to make lifestyle and medication adjustments.
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Blood Pressure And Heart Rate Are Always Linked
False:;It is true that blood pressure and heart rate often rise and fall together, Dr. Laffin says. When you face danger, for example, your blood pressure and pulse may both jump upward at the same time. However, if your heart rate rises, that doesnt automatically mean your blood pressure will rise or vice versa.
When the two are disconnected, you may be looking at a specific problem, Dr. Laffin says. For example, if you are dehydrated, bleeding or have a severe infection, blood pressure typically decreases and heart rate increases.
When To Contact A Doctor
Anyone who experiences worrying symptoms of shock should seek emergency medical attention.
People who experience mild but uncomfortable symptoms of low blood pressure may also want to talk with their doctor to discuss treatment options.
Anyone uncertain or uncomfortable about symptoms such as low blood pressure and high heart rate should see a doctor as well. A full diagnosis can help bring peace of mind and identify any underlying issues.
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