heart rate

Hi...my pacemaker was inserted June 4th and I am finally feeling somewhat better. I am a runner but have been unable to run and have switched to walking about 5 miles per day...this morning with my heart rate monitor on, I was walking about 14.5 minute miles and my heart rate went up to 143 although the range that it was set for was 60-130...would this be normal for it to get up to 140's??? I was rather surprised as I had never seen it go over 120. Any feedback would be very appreciated. Thanks...this is truly a great group and am so glad to be a member..vtlaney


Heart rate

by ElectricFrank - 2008-07-30 01:07:28

Smitty covered most of it. One additional possibility is the effect of the pacemaker on your heart rate monitor. If your monitor is the ECG type that uses electrodes on your chest it is possible that it is reading higher than your actual HR. What happens is that the monitor picks up the pacing electrical impulse as well as the heart signal and calculates the HR based on the extra pulse. In some cases this will actually give a ready that is double your HR, but it can also just add extra beats intermittently. Try taking your pulse the old way using your watch and wrist pulse. Check that against the monitor.
I found that the monitors than use the blood pulse in a finger work more reliably with a pacemaker.


Heart Rate-Smiith & Frank

by vtlaney - 2008-07-30 07:07:35

You are both so so knowledgeable...thanks so much for the quick response...I have only had one pacemaker check and all seemed to be working properly...what you have said makes alot of sense...My hr monitor is a Polar and the strap goes around my chest.

thanks again...vtlaney

Heart Rate

by SMITTY - 2008-07-30 12:07:14

Hello VTLaney,

I take it this is your first visit, or yout first question to the PM Club, so let me say welcome.

I can't guess if your heart rate should go up to 140 or above, but I'm pretty sure your pacemaker had nothing to with it, if as you say, the settings on your pacemaker are a low of 60 and high of 130. That is unless - see next to last paragraph in this comment.

This may be an over simplification of it, but basically what your pacemaker is set to do is monitor your heart rate. Shoud it go below 60 then the PM kicks in and maintains a minimum heart rate of 60. As your heart rate goes above 60 the PM continues to monitor your HR and will step in and help maintain a steady rhythm if need be until your heart rate reaches 130. When your heart rate goes 130 or above the PM takes itself out of the picture, although it will continue to monitor your heart rate. Then when it drops below 130 the PM again steps in and helps maintain a steady heart rhythm if needed.

There is one other item that could be entering the equation. That is the rate response could be activated on your PM. Although this should not be causing you heart rate to exceed 130, it is entirely possible the upper setting on your PM is above 130 and that is where the rate response will take it to. Since there is no way for any of us to know the exact settings, other than take the word of whoever established those settings, you will need to talk to the doctor or whoever selected the settings you have. (Yes, what I'm saying is the low and high settings we are told about, may not be the entirely true.. I know this can happen because it happened to me. It didin't make one iota of difference in the way my PM controlled my heart rate.)

If you feel no discomfort when you hit the 140 rate, I say don't be concerned. If you develop chest pain or an irregular heart beat, then you should check with your doctor immediately.

Good luck,


HRM Spikes

by tripastor - 2008-07-30 12:07:32

I also have a PM and wear a HRM when I train (triathlons), there are times that my HR will spike to 236 or even higher. When I take my pulse manually I am at a normal rate for exercise.
It can make you nervous at first, but in the end it is pretty funny when you show that you have an average HR of 220 for your workout.
I have talked with others about this, and there really is no solution.
Let me suggest you try a website: www.cardiacathletes.com, it is a support groups with awesome forums for those who have cardiac issues but still want to push the limits and train.

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