Maximum Heart Rate Settings

I'm 100 % dependent on my pacemaker. The upper limit maximum is set at 170 beats per minute. Is it harmful to the heart if a higher rate is needed during exercise? 


upper limit

by Tracey_E - 2024-03-25 13:47:30

It depends how you pace. If you are getting up on your own, then the pacer will just watch. 

If you have sinus dysfunction and depend on the pacer to get your rate up, the pacer will only get you to 170.

If you have av block and your sinus rate gets over 170, the pacer will not be able to get the ventricles over 170 and it will not feel good. It's not harmful, but avoid it if you can. 

If you are going by those charts to decide what your rate should be to determine how hard to push, those charts don't apply to us. When we can talk but not sing, when we feel strong, our rate is good.

Max rate

by John_W - 2024-03-25 19:12:40

I am also pacemaker dependent following aortic valve surgery which damaged my av node just over a year ago.  My sinus node works fine so sets my heart rate naturally. My dual chamber pacemaker links right atrium to right ventricle so that my ventricles are 100% paced following the atrium. My max limit is also 170. When I exceed this the pacemaker does not hold my heart rate at 170, instead it halves the ventricle rate. This is the way it is supposed to work and is intended to keep the top half and bottom half of my heart in sync even if the top frequency is double. When I sense this has happened I slow down whatever I may be doing and let the natural rate drop below 170. Only happened a couple of times. Hope this makes sense. Your pacemaker may do the same. Check with you health care team. John.


by Tracey_E - 2024-03-25 22:26:41

If you don't have a history of afib, they should be able to turn that off. That's what they did for me. It's a safety feature for afib, it puts us into an artificial 2:1 block to bring the heart down to a safe rate. But if we are just working out, not in afib, it's a bit like hitting a wall. 

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