Cross posted: Bradycardia

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Does anybody else deal with this issue? I went for my physical a few days ago and my pulse was 40. I'm an almost 53 year old woman, at a healthy weight, and a runner. It still seems very slow to me.

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  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 Member
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    That means your heart is very strong and your body has adapted to the demands of running with adaptations like increased stroke volume and blood plasma. Very good things.
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,619 Member
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    Unless you have other symptoms, probably fine.
  • WandaVaughn
    WandaVaughn Posts: 420 Member
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    That means your heart is very strong and your body has adapted to the demands of running with adaptations like increased stroke volume and blood plasma. Very good things.


    That's reassuring since my father has heart disease and 11 stents in his heart!
  • zebasschick
    zebasschick Posts: 1,005 Member
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    did you talk to your doctor about this?
  • LeanButNotMean44
    LeanButNotMean44 Posts: 852 Member
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    I’m in the same situation, the only difference is I’m 52 yrs old. I wouldn’t sweat it. When whomever is taking my vitals asks if I workout, it’s a nice ego boost!
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,449 Member
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    Just remember, "bradycardia" is not the name of a disease or "problem". It just means a HR under 60 bpm. There are many millions of people in good shape whose HR is sub 60; they technically have bradycardia but it isn't a problem. I venture to say there are many, many, many people on this board whose RHR is well under 60. But for others, bradycardia can be symptomatic of an underlying problem. That's why this should be discussed with a doctor.
  • DFW_Tom
    DFW_Tom Posts: 221 Member
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    Unless you have other symptoms, probably fine.

    Sorry to all for resurrecting a zombie thread, but this most closely addresses a concern I have.

    Doctors aren't always going to agree on the dangers of an asymptomatic low heart rate. With a HR of 40 as the OP states, any occurrence of Bradycardia symptoms should trigger an immediate call to your cardiologist. If you are 40 or older and your HR is in the low 40's, you should be getting tested by a cardiologist (even if you work out and are in great shape).

    No need for panic though. I had a doctor try to send me to the Emergency Room yesterday when I went in for my routine yearly physical. My heart rate was 37, lower than normal (mid to low 40's for me), but with no other symptoms. (I just checked mine and it was at 45 this morning.) 5 months ago a cardiologist had run me through a battery of test and wasn't concerned, telling me to continue working out and losing weight as a 65yo, M, obese, doing somewhat strenuous cardio exercise 3 times a week, and with normal blood pressure. Worse, the doc yesterday was adamant that I cancel my beach vacation in Mexico next week. We settled on pausing any hard exercise and eating at maintenance until I see a new cardiologist the day after we get back. Lab results will come back Monday and will look for any surprises. Meanwhile, I don't mind healthy eating maintenance at an all-inclusive for a week. B)

    Bradycardia in an older adult is something to pay attention to and to try to find underlying causes like hypothyroidism. It can be progressive, leading to needing a pacemaker - or worse if ignored. Symptoms like falls or fainting (syncope) need to be addressed immediately, as in calling 911 or at least a doctor.
  • G8rRay
    G8rRay Posts: 89 Member
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    I have a similar issue, my RHR is regularly low-to-mid 40s; but, it's not uncommon for a week at a time, my RHR is <40. And, it's been within that range since I started endurance running at 62 y.o.; I'm now 78 y.o.

    Last year, since I live >100 miles from my "old" primary care doc, I had a first visit with my "new" primary care physician, who referred me to a cardiologist. My "new" cardiologist ran me through stress tests, angiograms, EKGs, etc. and told me that my heart appears to be healthy but that he is concerned with RHR <40. BTW, my BP (blood pressure) measures ~98/57 (although, it isn't consistent daily, varying due to a lot of things, such as hydration, sleep, stress, etc.).
  • themommie
    themommie Posts: 5,011 Member
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    I too have low HR it drops down to 42 and I have fainted 4xs due to my HR dropping. The first time my husband called an ambulance. They kept me at the hospital for 4 days sent me home with a heart monitor did testing for over 6 months couldn't find the problem. It has been better the last 6 months then 2 nights ago I fainted again.i just turned 60. This started about 2 yrs ago
  • DFW_Tom
    DFW_Tom Posts: 221 Member
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    themommie wrote: »
    I too have low HR it drops down to 42 and I have fainted 4xs due to my HR dropping. The first time my husband called an ambulance. They kept me at the hospital for 4 days sent me home with a heart monitor did testing for over 6 months couldn't find the problem. It has been better the last 6 months then 2 nights ago I fainted again.i just turned 60. This started about 2 yrs ago

    I am sorry to hear that you have been experiencing fainting spells. The causes of Bradycardia are hard to find unless there is a noticeable disruption in sinus rhythm from some sort of disruption in the autonomic tone of the vagus nerve. Symptoms are the concern more so than the cause. Are the docs recommending you get a pacemaker?