Which Factors Can Influence Heart Rate
Many things can affect your heart rate, including:
- physical activity if youve been moving around a lot, your heart rate will increase
- fitness level your resting heart rate may be lower if youre very fit
- air temperature on hot days, your heart needs to pump more quickly
- emotions such as feeling stressed or overly excited
- medicines some can decrease your resting heart rate , while others can increase it
- age with age, the rate and regularity of your pulse can change and can be a sign of a heart problem.
What Is A Good Heart Rate For My Age
A good heart rate differs from individual to individual, and it depends upon your age and the kind of physical work you do.
Given below is the chart showing normal heart rates by age.
Heart Rate by Age Range
|Approximate Age Range|
|15 years or older||60-100|
However, a heart rate that is lower than 60 per minute does not necessarily mean that it is abnormal. If you are an athlete or someone who is engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity, you may have your heart rate between 40 and 60 per minute.
What Is Your Pulse
When your heart beats it pushes blood around your body. This heart beat can be felt as your ‘pulse’ on your wrist or neck.
Your pulse is measured by counting the number of times your heart beats in one minute. For example, if your heart contracts 72 times in one minute, your pulse would be 72 beats per minute . This is also called your heart rate.
A normal pulse beats in a steady, regular rhythm. However, in some people this rhythm is uneven, or ‘jumps about’. This is known as an irregular pulse.
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What Is Considered Severe Bradycardia
When a Slowed Heart Rate Means Serious Trouble In medical textbooks, bradycardia is usually defined as a resting heart rate that is below 60 beats per minute. However, many healthy people have a resting heart rate between 50-60 beats per minute, particularly athletes or sleeping people.
What Is A Healthy Resting Heart Rate For An Adult
A normal resting heart rate for adults lies somewhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute , and varies based on age group and gender. Women’s heart rates are about 2-7 BPM faster than men’s on average.
Generally speaking, you want to keep your resting heart rate as low as possible. One large, long-term study compared men with heart rates above 90 and those below 80. The men with higher average heart rates were associated with triple the risk of death.
People with lower heart rates tend to be more active and get more exercise than others. A young, highly-trained athlete’s healthy resting heart rate may be as low as 40 BPM.
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Normal Heart Rate For Adults
The normal pulse for healthy adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. The pulse rate can fluctuate and increase with exercise, illness, injury, and emotions. Women 12 years of age and older, in general, tend to have a faster heart rate than men.
Athletes, such as runners, who do a lot of cardiovascular conditioning, can have a heart rate close to 40 beats per minute and not experience problems.
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.
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When To See A Gp
See a GP or call 111 if:
- you have chest pain that comes and goes
- you have chest pain that goes away quickly but you’re still worried
- you notice a sudden change in your heartbeat
- your heart rate is consistently lower than 60 or above 100
It’s important to get medical advice to make sure it’s nothing serious.
How Will Your Doctor Find And Treat Bradycardia
Your doctor will ask about your usual activities and conduct a physical exam.
He or she may use an electrocardiogram to measure the electrical signals in your heart . A wearable, 24-hour monitor can tell your doctor how your heart performs over time.
Once your doctor decides you need treatment, he or she will try to rule out medications or other pre-existing conditions as causes. Sometimes changing medications or similar strategies can solve the problem.
If not, implanting a pacemaker via minimally invasive surgery is the only option to speed up your heart rate, Dr. Baez-Escudero says.
He notes that bradycardia isnt often an emergency, so doctors have time to choose the right treatment.
In general, bradycardia allows time for us to evaluate the condition and rule out if any other condition is responsible, he says. Then, we can adjust medications or take other steps if we need to.
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How Other Factors Affect Heart Rate
- Air temperature: When temperatures soar, the heart pumps a little more blood, so your pulse rate may increase, but usually no more than five to 10 beats a minute.
- Body position: Resting, sitting or standing, your pulse is usually the same. Sometimes as you stand for the first 15 to 20 seconds, your pulse may go up a little bit, but after a couple of minutes it should settle down.
- Emotions: If youre stressed, anxious or extraordinarily happy or sad your emotions can raise your pulse.
- Body size: Body size usually doesnt change pulse. If youre very obese, you might see a higher resting pulse than normal, but usually not more than 100.
- Medication use: Meds that block your adrenaline tend to slow your pulse, while too much thyroid medication or too high of a dosage will raise it.
What Is A Dangerous Fetal Heart Rate
Regarding this, what happens if baby’s heart rate is too high?
If the heart beats too fast, contractions are shallow and not enough blood is pumped with each heartbeat. As a result, the fetus can go into heart failure. The most common form of this condition is called supraventricular tachycardia , in which the heart rate can be faster than 200 beats per minute.
Beside above, what affects fetal heart rate? Stress during pregnancy can affect fetal heart rate. Stress-related changes in a pregnant woman’s heart rate and blood pressure, along with chronic anxiety, can affect the heart rate of her developing fetus, a new study concludes.
Similarly, it is asked, is fetal heart rate of 170 too high?
A rapid fetal heart rate is termed a fetal tachycardia and is usually defined as: FHR > 160-180 bpm. FHR around 170 bpm may be classified as borderline fetal tachycardia.
What are signs of fetal distress?
2.Signs of fetal distress: abnormal fetal heart rate
- An abnormally fast heart rate
- An abnormally slow heart rate
- Abrupt decreases in heart rate
- Late returns to the baseline heart rate after a contraction
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When To Contact A Doctor
If the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat becomes irregular or is causing distressing symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.
Even if there does not appear to be any danger, a doctor can provide assistance in reducing the risk of complications.
If a person is experiencing the following symptoms, all of which are symptoms of a heart attack, someone needs to call 911:
- chest pain
How Are Arrhythmias Diagnosed
Arrhythmias can be diagnosed in several ways. The doctor will use a person’s medical history information, along with a physical examination, to begin the evaluation. If an arrhythmia is suspected, the doctor will probably recommend an ECG/EKG to measure the heart’s electrical activity.
There’s nothing painful about an ECG/EKG it’s just a procedure where a series of electrodes are attached to the skin with sticky papers. The electrodes have wires attached to them, which connect to the EKG machine.
The electrical signals from the heart are then briefly recorded, usually for just 10 seconds. This information is sent to a computer, where it’s interpreted and drawn as a graph.
A doctor might recommend these types of ECG/EKG tests:
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Problems With The Hearts Natural Pacemaker
The hearts natural pacemaker, or sinoatrial node, helps regulate heartbeat. Problems affecting this can cause a persons heart to beat unusually slow or fast, which doctors call tachycardia.
A condition that doctors call sick sinus syndrome refers to problems with the natural pacemaker. Typically, another heart health problem, such as scar tissue in the heart, complications of diabetes, or coronary artery disease, causes these problems.
When To Call Your Doctor
If youre on a beta blocker to decrease your heart rate or to control an abnormal rhythm , your doctor may ask you to monitor and log your heart rate. Keeping tabs on your heart rate can help your doctor determine whether to change the dosage or switch to a different medication.
If your pulse is very low or if you have frequent episodes of unexplained fast heart rates, especially if they cause you to feel weak or dizzy or faint, tell your doctor, who can decide if its an emergency. Your pulse is one tool to help get a picture of your health.
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What Your Heart Rate Is Telling You
Your pulse, both at rest and during exercise, can reveal your risk for heart attack and your aerobic capacity.
Your grandmother may have referred to your heart as “your ticker,” but that nickname has proved to be a misnomer. A healthy heart doesn’t beat with the regularity of clockwork. It speeds up and slows down to accommodate your changing need for oxygen as your activities vary throughout the day. What is a “normal” heart rate varies from person to person. However, an unusually high resting heart rate or low maximum heart rate may signify an increased risk of heart attack and death.
One simple thing people can do is to check their resting heart rate. It’s a fairly easy to do and having the information can help down the road. It’s a good idea to take your pulse occasionally to get a sense of what’s normal for you and to identify unusual changes in rate or regularity that may warrant medical attention.
Can You Die From Bradycardia
When bradycardia is more severe, you may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, and fainting. If severe bradycardia goes untreated, it could lead to cardiac arrest, meaning the heart stops beating, and that can lead to death.
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Atrial Or Supraventricular Tachycardia
Atrial or supraventricular tachycardia is a fast heart rate that starts in the upper chambers of the heart. Some forms of this particular tachycardia are paroxysmal atrial tachycardia or paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia .
With atrial or supraventricular tachycardia, electrical signals in the hearts upper chambers fire abnormally. This interferes with electrical impulses coming from the sinoatrial node, the hearts natural pacemaker.
The disruption results in a faster than normal heart rate. This rapid heartbeat keeps the hearts chambers from filling completely between contractions, which compromises blood flow to the rest of the body.
A profile for atrial or SVT
In general, those most likely to have atrial or supraventricular tachycardia are:
- Women, to a greater degree than men
- Anxious young people
In extreme cases, those suffering with atrial or SVT may also experience:
Treatment for Atrial or SVT
If you have atrial or SVT, its possible that you wont need treatment.
But if the episodes are prolonged, or recur often, your doctor may recommend treatment, including:
- Some medicinal and street drugs
Other, less common causes may include:
- Heart muscle damage from heart attack or heart failure
- Severe bleeding
Approach to treatment
How Do I Calculate My Maximum Heart Rate
That is why it is easier to say that a safe upper limit is 60% to 90% of your maximum heart rate rather than us trying to provide you with a specific number. If you want a general idea of what your maximum exercise heart rate should be, then you take 220 and subtract your age.
That is the maximum rate your heart should beat while exercising. If you are exceeding that amount, then you are working too hard and need to back off until your rate is 60% to 90% of that level.
When it comes to exercising, you want your heart rate to go up. The goal is not to keep your heart rate down, something that many people dont understand. You want your resting heart rate to be low, not your exercising heart rate.
You really want your heart rate to be elevated and if you arent achieving an increase of at least 50% of your maximum heart rate, then you arent benefiting like you should from your exercises.
As you get into better shape, you want to try to achieve 90% of your maximum heart rate to get the most benefit from your exercises.
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Otherwise Fluctuations In Heart Rate Either Too Low Or High For An Extended Period Of Time Can Even Lead To Several Complications Like:
- Complete heart failure
- Cardiac arrest etc.
When to see a doctor?
You must certainly see a doctor in case you are experiencing consistent abnormal heart rate. Extreme high or low both are fatal conditions for life and hence must not be ignored in any case. Fluctuations in heart rate can turn out be fatal for life if not treated at the right time.
What Is Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a common condition that is estimated to affect up to 4% of the population. But what is atrial fibrillation, exactly? To say that its an irregular heartbeat doesnt quite explain exactly how this condition affects people.
If you experience chaotic bouts with a rapid, irregular heartbeat that starts pounding in your chest, you may have every reason to be concerned especially if you have any of the common risk factors for atrial fibrillation, like high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid or a prior heart attack.
AFib is caused by abnormal heart rhythms that keep blood from properly flowing out of the hearts upper chambers. As a result, AFib sufferers experience a rapid heart beat. Even while resting, their heart rates can soar past 180 beats per minute.
The real problem with AFib isnt so easy to detect, however. Aside from palpitations in their chests, people with AFib may experience:
- Severe weakness and fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Atrial fibrillation is also associated with cognitive impairments, such as difficulty concentrating, problems learning or retaining new information and trouble making decisions. The thought is that tiny blood clots gradually create a sort of cumulative damage in the brain.
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Is Bradycardia Dangerous
For most young people, highly trained athletes, and people who exercise regularly, a below-60 heart rate is normal and healthy. It is very possible to have a slow heart rate and experience no symptoms.
However, if you have symptoms but ignore them, it can sometimes cause more serious problems.
Consult your doctor if you are experiencing some of these symptoms and you have an associated slow heart rate:
- Lack of energy.
- Confusion/memory problems.
- Heart palpitations or flutters.
If your heart rate drops into the 30s, you might not get enough oxygen to your brain, making fainting, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath possible. Blood can also pool in your heart chambers, causing congestive heart failure.
When To See A Doctor
A person should speak to a doctor if they notice their heart rate is slow.
When a baby has a low pulse, a parent or carer should take them to the emergency room.
Adults and children who have a low pulse and experience severe symptoms, such as chest pain or fainting, should also go to the hospital.
A person should see a doctor for bradycardia when:
- they experience an unexplained change in heart rate that lasts for several days
- they have bradycardia and other heart health risk factors, such as diabetes or smoking
- they have heart disease and bradycardia
- they experience bradycardia and other symptoms, such as fainting spells
- they experience episodes of bradycardia and tachycardia
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Your Resting Heart Rate
When you are at rest, your heart is pumping the lowest amount of blood to supply the oxygen your body’s needs. For most healthy adult women and men, resting heart rates range from 60 to 100 beats per minute. However, a 2010 report from the Women’s Health Initiative indicated that a resting heart rate at the low end of that spectrum may offer some protection against heart attacks. When WHI researchers examined data on 129,135 postmenopausal women, they found that those with the highest resting heart ratesmore than 76 beats per minutewere 26% more likely to have a heart attack or die from one than those with the lowest resting heart rates62 beats per minute or less. If your resting heart rate is consistently above 80 beats per minute, you might want to talk to your doctor about how your heart rate and other personal factors influence your risk for cardiovascular disease.