What is a Dangerous Heart Rate?


What is a Dangerous Heart Rate?

Your heart works like a clock ; however, it doesn’t always beat uniformly like a clock. The heart accommodates the body’s changing needs and accordingly speeds up or slows down. Throughout the day, your bodily activities may change, and as per the oxygen requirement, the heart rate varies. While the normal heart rate often varies from individual to individual, the typical pulse or heart rate remains  between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Anything higher or lower than the normal heart rate can be alarming.

Read on as we discuss what is a dangerous heart rate, and what all you need to do if such a situation arises.

What is a Normal Heart Rate?

 You need to understand that ‘normal’ heart rate is not as straightforward as it may seem. The heart rate changes throughout the day, depending on what you are doing or what you are experiencing. For example, your heart rate is bound to increase after a workout or climbing a flight of stairs. Similarly, when feeling relaxed or during sleep, your heart rate may be at its lowest.

What is important here is to identify an individual’s usual heartbeat rate in order to understand what is dangerous for them. Generally, it is only dangerous when there is no obvious reason for a very high or a very low heart.

What Affects Heart Rate?

Let us take a look at what affects the heart rate. Here you go:

  • Pain
  • Pregnancy
  • Fever
  • Caffeine
  • Anxiety
  • Medications.

Low Heart Rate

The common reasons for a low heart rate are as follows:

  • Chest trauma
  • Heart illness/ heart attack
  • Radiation therapy
  • Treatment for congenital heart disease.

What is A Dangerous Heart Rate?

Let us now delve into what is a dangerous heart rate. To check if your heart rate is within the range of normal heart rate by age, you need to keep certain factors in mind, such as the individual’s :

  • Overall health
  • General heart rate
  • Activity levels.

If an individual is outside their usual target level, things can get a little complicated. While a lower heart rate can cause dizziness and the risk of falling, a higher heart rate typically indicates heart issues. A fast heart rate is considered to be more dangerous as it leads to serious complications like stroke or heart attack. 

Now the question arises- How many beats per minute is a heart attack?

It has been established that heart rate is not always an indicator of an impending heart attack. However, it can be helpful in predicting the success rate of recovery.

>> Also Read: Why Are Youngsters and Gym Goers Suffering from Heart Attacks?

How to Measure Normal Pulse Rate?

You may have often felt your pulse. You can feel the flutter in your:

  • Side of the neck
  • Wrist
  • Top of the foot
  • Crook (soft inside part) of the elbow.

Once you feel the pulse, you can count the number of beats per minute. You can also use a pulse oximeter to check the normal pulse rate in oximeter.

Take a look at the table below to understand maximum heart rate and normal heart rate by age.

For Children

Age Target/ Ideal heart rate (BPM)
Up to 3 months 85 to 205
85 to 205 100 to 190
2 years to 10 years 60 to 140
Above 10 years of age 60 to 100

For Adults

Age (years) Target/ Ideal heart rate (BPM) Average maximum heart rate (BPM)
20 100–170 200
30 95–162 190
35 93-157 185
40 90-153 180
45 88-149 175
50 85-145 170
55 83-140 165
60 180-136 160
65 78-132 155
70 75-128 150

Dealing with Abnormal or Dangerous Heart Rate

Now that we know what is a dangerous heart rate for adults, let us understand how you need to deal with such situations. Generally, one may have the following symptoms when their heart rate is too high:

  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the chest
  • Fainting

Let us take a look at things you can do in case your heart rate is high:

  • Practise deep breathing
  • Relax, try to calm down
  • Practise stretching exercising or do yoga
  • Take a warm, relaxing bath

On the flip side , a lower heart rate may be caused by a number of reasons. This condition is also known as bradycardia. It means that the body is not receiving sufficient oxygen to perform its regular functions. A slow heart rate can also lead to an emergency situation. Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the chest
  • Breathing trouble
  • Blurred vision
  • Disorientation or confusion 
  • Loss of consciousness.

Let’s Wrap It Up

When it comes to heart rate, there cannot be a good resting rate. As different individuals have different ‘normal heart rates’, there isn’t any perfect heart rate. Sometimes, professional athletes may have a normal heart rate of 40. However, for an average person, such a low heart rate can be concerning. So, whenever you feel weak or find yourself short of breath, rush to your doctor.

It is also recommended that you get in touch with your doctor when the resting heart rate is consistently over 90. While these numbers do not necessarily indicate a serious issue, it is also better to be in touch with your doctor.

The human heart is one of the most important body organs. Looking after it is important for your overall well-being. Today, when health care costs are at an all-time high, it is suggested that you also invest in a suitable heart health insurance plan covering heart disease. Care Health Insurance offers special coverage for heart ailments. Care Heart plan comes with comprehensive coverage up to 10 lakh covering hospitalisation expenses, alternative treatment, domiciliary hospitalisation and many more other expenses.  Visit us for more information about the plan.

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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Q. 1. What is the normal pulse rate for a woman?

While the normal pulse rate or heart rate for women is between 60 BPM and 100 BPM, the average rate is 78 BPM to 82 BPM.

Q. 2. What is the normal pulse rate for a man?

The normal heart or pulse rate for men can range from 60 BPM to 100 BPM. Keep in mind that heart rate varies from person to person and changes throughout the day, depending on what the individual is doing or feeling.

Q. 3. What pulse rate is dangerous?

Situations where the pulse rate goes beyond 120 or 140 BPM or stoops below 60 BPM can be called dangerous. Get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible.


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