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High Blood Pressure and High Pulse Rate
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High Blood Pressure and High Pulse Rate

  Hi!  Today, for the first time in my life, I felt unsual (i.e. accelerated
  heart rate and sweating - while seating down and relaxed).   I took
  four different blood pressure readings during the course of 6 hours, with
  the following results:  172/90, 175/85, 165/90, and, 170/95.  With my
  pulse rate constantly above 110 beats per minute.  My normal blood
  pressure readings are 120/80 to 140/90.  My normal pulse rate is between
  60 and 85 beats per minute.  I am presently overweight by 80 pounds.  I am
  36 years old.  I quit smoking (after 10 years) last week.  I have high
  cholestrol.  I am diagnosis with Type II diabetes.  My brother had a heart
  attack one month ago (age 41).  My father had a heart attack (age 44). I
  am presently taking Glycotrol (for diabetes) and Zyban (to help to stop
  smoking).  I felt some discomfort in my chest (off and on).  I had some
  pain in my left and right arms (off and on).  But, I felt embarrased to go
  to the hospital (i.e. heart attack??).  I was told I have a heart murmur
  (diagnosis age 10) - a functional heart murmur.  Just wanted to know what's
  going on with me - am I or did I have a heart attack.  What is happening?
  I am trying to get on the right track (i.e. lose weight, stop smoking,
  exercise, etc.  But, I am afraid of what happened to me today?  Can you
  help?  Thank You,  Frank (S.Bay).                                                              
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Frank:
YOU SHOULD SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY.  With your multiple risk factors for heart disease and very strong family history of premature heart disease, you are definitely at risk for having a heart attack, even at age 36.  The sweating (for no reason), the chest and arm discomfort, the elevated blood pressure and heart rate are all red flags - you need to get to an emergency room.  You have no reason to be embarrassed.  Thousands of Americans die or suffer major heart damage hoping that the heart attack they are having is gas pain or indigestion or something else.  If it turns out that the problem is not your heart, that is great; no one in the ER will make fun of you or second guess your decision to go to the hospital.  If it is your heart, the sooner you are brought to the hospital, the less damage to your heart, the better for you.
Call 911 (don
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