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What Is Considered a Dangerous Heart Rate? Normal Heart Rate Range and More
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Adults typically have a pulse rate that ranges from sixty to one hundred beats per minute. Pulse rates, which are sometimes referred to as heart rates, can vary from person to person; nonetheless, certain pulse rates may indicate a dangerous ailment.
The amount of times that your heart beats in one minute is referred to as your heart rate. Your heart rate does not always remain consistent with one another. You may already be aware of the fact that it can fluctuate at times in response to factors such as your level of activity and the emotions that you are feeling.
It is common practice to take a person’s heart rate while they are at ease and at rest. This is what is known as your heart rate at rest.
A resting heart rate of between 60 and 100 beats per minute is considered to be typical for people (bpm). It is possible for a child’s typical resting heart rate to be significantly greater than that of an adult, depending on the child’s age.
Although people’s heart rates might vary greatly from one another, there are some heart rates that are regarded to be harmful. Continue reading to find out more.
What is considered a normal heart rate when one is at rest?
As was just discussed, your age and degree of activity can both have an effect on your heart rate; yet, there are a few characteristics that define “normal.”
The rate at which your heart pumps the bare minimum quantity of blood that your body requires while you are at rest is known as your resting heart rate.
Individuals can have very different heart rates when they are at rest. In addition, aspects such as your age, the amount of physical exercise you get, and the drugs you take can all have an effect on your resting heart rate.
Adults have a normal heart rate while at rest.
The American Heart Association (AHA) cites a resting heart rate that is typical as falling anywhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm) as their trusted source. However, it is possible for some persons to have a normal resting heart rate that is lower than 60 beats per minute while still being deemed healthy.
For instance, athletes might discover that their heart rates are lower, dropping to as low as 40 beats per minute at times. In addition, those who take particular medications, such as beta-blockers, could also have a reduced heart rate when they are at rest. Later on, we’ll investigate a few other elements that have the potential to affect the resting heart rate.
The following table provides an age-specific breakdown of the normal average resting heart rate for adults.
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|Age range (years)
|Average resting heart rate (bpm)
|18 to 20
|21 to 30
|31 to 40
|41 to 50
|51 to 60
|61 to 70
|71 to 80
Normal resting heart rate for kids
The normal resting heart rate of youngsters will alter as they continue to develop. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the pediatric resting heart rates shown in the table below are shown both when children are awake and when they are asleep.
|Waking resting heart rate (bpm)
|Sleeping resting heart rate (bpm)
|Newborn to 3 months
|85 to 205
|80 to 160
|3 months to 2 years
|100 to 190
|75 to 160
|2 years to 10 years
|60 to 140
|60 to 90
|Over 10 years
|60 to 100
|50 to 90
Factors that can affect resting heart rate
Your resting heart rate might be influenced by a number of additional factors in addition to your age.
Temperature. When you are exposed to hot temperatures, you may experience a minor increase in the rate at which your heart beats.
Adverse reactions to medications Beta-blockers and other medications can reduce the rate at which your heart beats at rest.
Emotions. When you are anxious or excited, it’s possible that your heart rate will speed up.
Weight. People who are obese may have a greater heart rate when they are at rest. This is due to the fact that in order to provide the body with blood, the heart has to work harder.
Anemia. Anemia is characterized by low amounts of red blood cells, which might cause the heart to pump more quickly in order to meet the increased demand for oxygen-rich blood caused by the body.
Abnormalities of the endocrine system or the hormones. The rate of one’s heartbeat can be affected by abnormal quantities of certain hormones. For instance, hyperthyroidism, which occurs when there is an excess of thyroid hormone in the body, can lead to a faster heart rate, while hypothyroidism, which occurs when there is an inadequate amount of thyroid hormone in the body, can lead to a slower heart rate.
Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS). Because of this syndrome, the patient’s heart rate will accelerate in an irregular manner after rising from a seated or standing position. Dizziness and fainting are two common symptoms of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), along with heart palpitations.
Positioning of the body When you transition from a seated to a standing position, your heart rate may experience a momentary spike.
Smoking. The average resting heart rate of a smoker is higher than that of a non-smoker. Putting an end to one’s smoking habit can assist in bringing it back down. This is something that is frequently challenging, but a physician may assist you in developing a smoking cessation strategy that is tailored to your needs.
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What is the highest possible heart rate?
Calculating your maximal heart rate might assist you in determining what your optimum goal heart rate should be while you are engaging in physical activity.
If you take your age and remove it from 220, will give you an estimate of your maximal age-related heart rate. For instance, in the case of a person who is 35 years old, the anticipated maximum age-related heart rate would be computed as 220 minus 35 years, which is 185 beats per minute (bpm).
The computation of your maximal heart rate allows you to determine whether or not you are working out too strenuously or not putting in enough effort. This computation will be used to determine your goal heart rate, which will indicate the optimal beats per minute (bpm) that you require for an effective workout.
What does it mean to have a goal heart rate?
When participating in activities of moderate intensity, your target heart rate should be between 50 and 70 percent of your maximal heart rate, as stated by the AHA. Your heart rate should increase to between 70 and 85 percent of its maximum after vigorous physical activity.
Therefore, the ideal range for a person’s heart rate when they are 35 years old is between 93 and 157 beats per minute (50 to 85 percent of their maximum).
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the range of acceptable heart rates and the typical maximum heart rate increase with age as shown in the following table.
|Target heart rate (50% to 85%) (bpm)
|Average maximum heart rate (bpm)
|100 to 170
|95 to 162
|93 to 157
|90 to 153
|88 to 149
|85 to 145
|83 to 140
|80 to 136
|78 to 132
|75 to 128
What is a dangerous rate?
It’s possible that you’ll have periods of time in which your heart rate is significantly quicker or slower than what’s typical for you. Even when a medical professional is monitoring the patient’s heart rate, there are some instances of this type of bpm imbalance that is not regarded to be “hazardous.”
Rapid beating of the heart
Tachycardia is the medical term for when a person has an abnormally rapid heart rate. Above 100 beats per minute is considered to be a rapid heart rate for adults. Source You Can Rely On.
However, the definition of “too quickly” can shift depending on your age and the state of your health as a whole.
There are several distinct forms of tachycardia, including the following:
multifocal atrial ventricular sinus
Their classification is determined by the part of the heart that they impact as well as the source that causes them. It’s possible that the tachycardia you’re experiencing is only transient.
The following are some of the potential causes of tachycardia:
a preexisting medical issue as the root cause
of symptoms of worry or stress excessive consumption of caffeine heavy usage of alcohol
hormonal problems (i.e., thyroid)
high temperature extreme or rigorous exercise or physical activity fever
negative consequences brought on by medication
consumption of particular medications (like cocaine)
Slow beating of the heart
Bradycardia is the medical term for a heart rate that is significantly lower than normal. The term “bradycardia” refers to a heart rate that is lower than 60 beats per minute. Source You Can Rely On.
It is considered acceptable and even healthy for athletes and other persons who exercise frequently to maintain a heart rate that is lower than sixty beats per minute.
The following are some of the possible causes of bradycardia:
adverse reactions to prescribed drugs
Electrolyte imbalance, obstructive sleep apnea, and issues with the conduction system of the heart are some of the underlying health conditions that are associated with older adults.
It’s possible that patients with borderline or occasional bradycardia don’t need treatment. However, bradycardia that lasts for an extended period of time or that is not treated can progress to a more serious condition.
In most cases, the primary determining factor of what constitutes a “dangerous” heart rate is the presence of certain underlying illnesses. If you already have heart disease, heart failure, or a family history of heart disease, and you observe a variation in your heart rate, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can, since this could be a symptom of a major problem that needs immediate medical attention.
When does something become an emergency?
If you suddenly detect a change in the rhythm of your heartbeat that is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible by either consulting a physician or going to the nearest emergency hospital.
a feeling of difficulty breathing
symptoms such as chest pain or tightness, dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, difficulty exercising, and so on.
It’s possible that this is a symptom of something more serious going on with your heart.
How to determine your own individual heart rate
You may check your own heart rate manually, despite the fact that there is a broad selection of wearable devices on the market that can assist you in doing so.
The AHATrusted Source follows a straightforward procedure:
The best place to check your pulse is on the inside of your wrist.
Place the tips of your first two fingers over the artery, and apply a gentle pressing pressure.
Your heart rate can be determined by counting your pulse for thirty seconds, multiplying that amount by two, and then dividing the result by six.
Note that you should not rely on this strategy if you are experiencing discomfort because you feel as though your heart is pounding too quickly or too slowly. Consultation with a medical professional is your greatest option in this predicament.
What are the causes of an increased heart rate?
When your heart rate is faster than it should be, a condition known as tachycardia, you may be suffering from one of a number of underlying health concerns, including the following:
illness of the heart present at birth
cardiovascular condition that is impeding blood circulation
hyperthyroidism can cause damage to the heart, such as that caused by a heart attack, as well as ventricular or supraventricular arrhythmias.
Taking illegal drugs (such as stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamines) or abusing prescription medications or non-prescription products (such as diet supplements) may also cause your heart to beat too quickly. Other potential causes include misusing prescription medications or non-prescription products.
Other, less significant causes of a rapid heart rate include the following:
consumption of alcoholic beverages stress physical activity pregnancy
When should one go to the doctor?
If your heart rate is consistently above 100 beats per minute or below 60 beats per minute (and you are not an athlete), or if you are also experiencing the following symptoms, you should make an appointment with your doctor:
a feeling of difficulty breathing
symptoms such as lightheadedness or dizziness, a feeling of fluttering or palpitations in the chest, chest pain or discomfort, and an inability to exercise
Identifying the root source of the problem
In order to assist in making a diagnosis of your disease, your physician may make use of a range of diagnostic instruments, such as the following:
Holter or event monitor. This is a more compact and portable electrocardiogram machine that your doctor can use to assist in monitoring your electrocardiographic signals. You will need to wear it for a certain amount of time.
Electrocardiogram. This diagnostic tool is also known as an electrocardiogram (ECG) and an electrocardiogram (EKG). It involves the use of tiny electrodes to capture the electrical activity of your heart. The information that was gathered can be used by your physician to establish whether or not abnormalities in your heart are contributing to your disease.
A test of stress. This can be helpful in diagnosing persons whose symptoms may be related to exercise, and it is sometimes referred to as a treadmill test or an exercise test.
A tilt-table test. This evaluates the changes in your heart rate and blood pressure that occur as you transition from lying down to standing up. The tilt-table test is typically administered to patients who have problems with episodes of fainting.
Imaging testing. Imaging can determine if there are any structural abnormalities in your heart that may be contributing to your disease. These abnormalities could be the cause of your condition. Echocardiograms, computed tomography scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are all examples of possible imaging examinations.
Electrophysiologic testing. This treatment is carried out under local anesthesia, and it entails threading temporary electrode catheters via veins or arteries into the heart in order to record the electrical impulses that are being produced by the heart.
After an accurate diagnosis has been determined, your primary care physician will devise a treatment and management strategy for your disease in collaboration with you.
What you can do to affect the rate of your heart
Maintaining a healthy heart should be a priority for you at all times. This includes doing regular exercise, eating foods that are good for the heart, drinking alcohol in moderation, and keeping your weight at a healthy level.
In addition to this, you need to schedule regular checkups with your primary care physician. Not only is it a wonderful habit to follow, but it also has the potential to assist in the early diagnosis of irregularities such as high cholesterol or blood pressure.
If you already have heart disease, you need to keep a close eye on your condition and adhere to the treatment plan that your doctor has given you. Always follow your doctor’s instructions before taking any medication. Make sure to promptly report any new symptoms or symptoms that are getting worse.
Other advice for maintaining a healthy heart includes:
Find strategies to alleviate the tension in your life. Activities such as yoga and meditation are two good examples.
Try to cut back on how much caffeine you consume whenever you can. Caffeine can cause an increase in heart rate if you consume too much of it.
Limit intake of energy drinks.
Drink alcohol in moderation so as not to get drunk. Women should limit themselves to no more than one drink per day, while males should limit themselves to no more than two drinks per day.
Quit smoking. Quitting smoking can help bring your heart rate back down to normal after it has been elevated by smoking.
Avoid cannabis. Cannabis use may induce cardiovascular problems Some people view this as a reliable source.
Be mindful of any negative interactions between medications. Before beginning to take any drug, you should always make sure you are aware of any potential adverse effects.
Prioritize sleep. Check to see if you suffer from sleep apnea, which is a common disorder that can result in pauses in breathing while one is sleeping and can also have an effect on the rate at which one’s heart beats.
The average resting heart rate varies considerably from person to person and is subject to a wide range of external influences. A resting heart rate of between 60 and 100 beats per minute is considered to be typical for an adult who does not participate in physical activity. As children get older, their hearts beat at a different rhythm than what is considered “normal.”
In most cases, a rapid heart rate (also known as tachycardia) and a slow heart rate (also known as bradycardia) are signs of other health issues. They can result in potentially serious health consequences if treatment is not provided for them.
Make an appointment with your primary care physician if you notice that your heart rate is abnormally high or low for an extended period of time. There are a number of conditions that could be causing your heart rate to behave in this way. Although not all of these causes pose a threat to your health, there is a possibility that some of them are indications of cardiac problems.