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Concerned about slow heart rate
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Concerned about slow heart rate

I am a 42 year old male.  13 years ago a routine blood test revealed that I had a very high platlet count (700,000 to 900,000).  I have no symptoms, so they have just monitored me.

My heartrate for years has been in the low 60's when resting. In January, when I saw my oncologist, it was normal, low 60's.

Recently, I went to the Dr. because of a slow heart rate 42 BPM.  Blood test were normal for me.   They have monitored my heartrate/blood pressure weekly for a couple months.  No change in heartrate.  blood pressure is usually about 129/78.  EKG was normal.   Should I be concerned?  I am moderatly fit, but not one who exercises other than walking several times per week.  I am not overweight.

Should I see a cardiologist?


Thank you!
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Avatar_n_tn
Pastor,
A morning heartrate of 42 would be unusual in a typical healthy male, but not rare.  A typical workup for a resting heartrate of 42 WITHOUT symptoms should include a history and physical, ekg, and basic labwork to include a thyroid profile.

The indication to see a specialist would be (1) symptoms, (2) abnormal ekg, or (3) failure of the heartrate to rise with walking or exercise.

Seeing a cardiologist withouth the above indications may give you some peace of mind, but it might also make you subject to unnecessary testing -- you'll need to decide which is more troublesome for you.

Hope that helps.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
If you are not passing out or experiencing spells of lightheadedness, why worry about it?  It's not more likely to quit altogether than someone with a faster rate.

My resting HR has been slow all of my life.  It is generally in the high 30's when I wake up and am still in bed.  I normally test my BP after I get up, and go to the bathroom.  Then it's always mid 40's.  After walking around a little bit and doing a little activity, it normally bottoms in the high 50's or 60 for the rest of the day.  

Doctors have commented that I must have been athletic to have such a low rate, but I was a nerd who never played sports when I was young.

This seems to have made little difference, in my case, to the development of coronary artery disease, however.  But I do think that it helps me live normally with advanced 3 vessel disease, because of less resting demand on the heart.

Also I don't seem to believe them when they tell me that I have a 40% chance of sudden death within 5 years (Only 3.5 years left on this prediction:) ) without CABG surgery.  I figure there are people which that might happen to, but I am not one of them and perhaps my slow HR is indicative of that.

Don't Worry - Be Happy!




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Avatar_n_tn
I also have a resting rate of 45-48.  I have had a recent Holter test that revealed all things to be normal.  I have an average rate of 45 with a rate of 110 while I worked out.  My rate during sleep was 31.  I guess this is all ok.  He seemed pleased by all the results.  I went to him to complain of lightheadedness, and some headaches.  He seems to think they are nothing to do with my heart rate and they are more likely to be from anxiety.  Can anyone give me some answers??  My rate right now as I write this is 48.  I also do have the headache and the lightheadedness.  But i just ran downstairs to check the mail and after running back up three flights of stairs, it got to about 80 and i still have thos symptoms.  Anyone have similarities??  Please Email me  ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
My resting heart rate is below 50 too and I don't have any symptoms or proven heart disease... I thought it was normal. When I run or cycle at maximum speed I can get up to 180 beats per minute (I'm 42 years old).
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Avatar_n_tn
My resting heart rate is also low. It is typically 48-52. When I exercise I am usually max out in the 150-160 range. I am 28 and healthy. I do have PVCs though and have had all the tests, including the Holter and the thyroid checks. All is fine. It doesn't worry me. I would guess if you have no other symptoms it is not a problem.
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A related discussion, What would account for the onset of a slow heart rate? was started.
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