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How low can a heart rate go before there is a problem?
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How low can a heart rate go before there is a problem?

I am 72, so according to the books my top heart rate is supposedly 148.

While looking at the holter results, I was interested to find out my heart rate went up to 172 while jogging up a hill.

And during the night it went down to 35!

Of course now with the beta blocker I can't get up as high as before.

Neither my internist or my cardiologist even mentioned the night heart rate of 35, but I'm wondering if it is even lower now (with BB and Diovan) and is that a danger?

P.S. When I went for my treadmill test the cardiologist would only let me get up to 152 (I'm still disappointed he wouldn't let me try for 172 since I knew that would get me a good solid workout)
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Avatar_f_tn
That's a good question.  I can tell you that my mom has the slowest heart rate - wow.  It is in the 30s and when I took her in for a routine colonoscopy and she was in the recovery room for that, the heart monitor alarm kept going off because her heart rate was SO low!  I was worried, but the staff didn't seem worried at all.  And she is the picture of health - works out every day and all other vitals and cholesterol, etc are great (she has high cholesterol - but the high number is the good cholesterol!).  Anyway, I know she's had this for decades and she is just fine, doctors are not concerned.  It's just something that runs in her family, I think.   She is 68 years old.

I think if the heart rate gets too low sometimes your body will trigger a faster rhythm to speed things up.  Some people with bradycardia experience arrhtyhmias, and that is usually why the arrhythmias happen.  Since you are on the beta blockers, though, I'd ask the docs about that and see what they say.

As for the high number while exercising - I'm not a doctor but 172 doesn't seem too bad?  I guess it depends on how hard you are working, but running uphill is quite a chore!

Best bet is to ask the docs and see what they think.  Good luck!
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378273_tn?1262101221
Thanks!  That sounds reasonable, that the heart would somehow adjust itself if the rate got too low.

No, I'm not worried about the HR of 172 (when exercising to my limit) That is a good sign apparently, that I can go higher than expected for my age.  (of course now with the BB it won't go past 150)





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612551_tn?1247839157
Yes, BB will hold the HR down, the top end, as well as lower the low end.

You have a very unusual high range rest to top aerobic.  It sounds like you have more experience than me, but I'll still say the rule Ax(220-age) is the upper limit where "A" is a number between 0.8 and 1.  This is only a rule-of-thumb, but I think a good one, any you're pushing it.

A HR of 35 at full rest may not be too unusual for a strong cardiovascular system, but it is getting rather low, worth discussing with your doctor.

I wish I could get my rest rate down to 60.  That's about where it was before my last relapse into AFib, which I continue to suffer from full time.  
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520292_tn?1232039450
There is nothing to worry about, with a heart rate in the thirties while sleeping.  My normal resting heart rate is 55 and when I sleep a holter recorded my rate go as low as 31.  Doctor says that is normal no big deal.  Always remember a lower heart rate is always better, less pumping means less work for your heart, and in general that means it is a more efficient heart.  The less your heart has to beat to circulate oxygen throughout your body, the more healthy you are.  That is in general speaking of course. Nice low blood pressure, and low rhythm equals a happy heart :o)  
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725457_tn?1231615675
My heart rate has only gone up to like a high of 161. But That scared me to death. They told me that your hr can go up to 200BPM safely. Now I don't know if that's true because people young people like me have had Heart attacks at a rate of only 150bpm. Don't know how much of a help that is. Also my Hr will drop down to 30bpm. It scared me, until I read about others on here who's HR have dropped into the 20's. I went to the ER with sinus tach arrythmia and left two hours later with sinus brady arrythmia. Hope I was bale to help some. Try not to worry even though that's harder to do. I have noticed with me my HR will go faster when I am upset or stressed out. Goodluck hun and godbless
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88793_tn?1290230777
I don't think my cardio will agree what you said.  My heart beat dropped to 40 then he wants a pacemaker in before I left the hospital.  Now my blood pressure dropped to 93/63 then the GP wants to put me on Zyrtec and salt tablets.  

I stay away from them, I trust what you said.  I also agreed with you.
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Avatar_f_tn
93/63 is a low bp and salt tabs maybe just the thing.  When my bp is super low, I take on fluids and salt to try to raise it enough to pump to everything.  If your rate is in the 40s with a bp that low, you may very well get dizzy.  If that is from meds, they may need to be changed.  If you are asymptomatic, it goes fine for you.  If you become symtomatic (frequently), then getting a pacemaker helps a lot.  Now my bottom rate is 60 NO MATTER WHAT!  BP can still dump though.  You're right that salt is generlaly not a part of the cardiac diet, but not all cardiac problems are created equal.  Most people have HIGH blood pressure which is where many complications arise.  Low blood pressure is less common, but when a person is symptomatic, the problems are NOW not long term.  Our renowned transplant surgeon at our hospital was trying to bribe a pt to eat... he said get that down and I'll bring you in pretzels and beer- definitely a HIGH sodium snack.

Don't be too quick to completely blow off the doctor.  
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88793_tn?1290230777
This is my number 4 pacemaker.  It sets at the base of 60 as well.  I didn't mention the BP 93/63 was sitting.  Immediately the GP did one standing BP.  It was 135/73.  

I was complainted dizziness like living inside the spaceship for over a year.  They all thought it was in my head.  Ignored me......  I can live like that now.  I use to it but just keep knocking down the things.  Just make sure when I do shopping, not walking close to the glass wares shelves.
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