Unnecessarily rapid pulse

            I am 81 years old and in pretty good shape. I had a PM installed on Nov 13, 2020 because of afib/Bradycardia. That brought on a very high PR condition (120) with chest pain when I tried to walk 100 yds. Then that resulted in 3 stints for 99% blocked arteries. Now I can walk 20 minutes slowly with a PR of 100. Before any of this, I could walk a mile with a 78 PR. I climbed 3 flights of stairs today which resulted in a 159/88 BP and a 110 pulse. My Cardio Dr. says that the PM is not running my PR that high and it’s my regular heart rate doing it. Could it be that I didn’t need the PM in the first place and all my “slow to catch up HR” was because I had blocked arteries?


1 Comments

Increased heart rate - Afib?

by Gemita - 2020-12-14 13:40:37

Hello Ed,

Looking at your medical history, there are good reasons why your heart rate might be running a bit high:  Afib, Coronary Artery Disease, high blood pressure and age are on the list of possible causes.  It could be that it is running higher too because your heart is still getting used to being paced, and this will hopefully settle with time.  I got tachy symptoms initially too which settled after a few months.

As to whether you needed a pacemaker?  I suspect you did at the time of implant, or heart monitoring in the past saw a consistently low heart rate due either to your arrhythmia(s) or to your heart disease, or because of the need to administer strong medication to control your heart rate/blood pressure/AFib which might have caused your heart rate to fall too low.  My doctors told me one of the reasons they wanted me to have a pacemaker was so that they could control my high heart rates during an arrhythmia like Afib without reducing my heart rate to dangerously low levels since the pacemaker would prevent my heart rate from falling.

My advice is to try to get your Afib under control if it isn’t already and this will help stabilise both heart rate and blood pressure since Afib will adversely affect both rates.  High blood pressure needs to be firmly controlled since it can trigger Afib and AFib can cause symptoms of chest pain, poor exercise capacity, breathlessness, weakness and much more. Have you got access to cardiac rehabilitation which could help you to improve your exercise capacity.  I can remember when my husband had three stents placed, he had problems with walking, climbing stairs.  It took months for him to recover from his stent procedure, pacemaker implant and Afib

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I, too, am feeling tons better since my implant.