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High Blood Pressure with Pacemaker
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High Blood Pressure with Pacemaker

I am a 39 year old female who had a pacemaker implanted in April 2002 for sinus node dysfunction.  Since then, my blood pressure is running higher than normal.  The diastolic pressure is usually in the high 80s or low 90s.  I never had high blood pressure before.  My blood pressure used to be around 120/70.  Could the pacemaker be causing this problem?  Also, the minimum setting on the pacemaker is 70.  However, my pulse is usually around 76 as a minimum.  Prior to the pacemaker, my heartrate was in the low 30s.  Why would the pacemaker run at a higher rate than 70, if I'm just resting?  Could the rate response do this?  I have a Medtronic Kappa 701 dual chamber pacemaker.  The rate response works with vibration.

Thanks

MS1
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MS1,

Thanks for the informed question.

An increase in heart rate could certainly increase your blood pressure.

There are several reasons why your pulse could be 76.  The first is that your sinus node is now running at a higher rate when you are checking your pulse -- remember, the nature of sinus node dysfunction is often to have both high and low heart rates.  The second reason why your pulse could be 76 is from pacing at 70 with PACs from your own atrium.  A third reason could be the rate response mechanism. Some of these work off vibration, but also have a temperature sensor as well that adjusts the pacing rate.  I don't know if the particular device mentioned has that function.

The good news is that this is an easy-to-diagnose-problem, just have the pacemaker interrogated at your doctor's office.  Also, find out why your resting rate has been set at 70, this is higher than normal -- there must be a reason they selected this number.

Good luck.
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