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Shortness of breath on climbing stairs. Is my blood pressure and pulse rate normal?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 898 Questions
DR, MY resting BP varies from 133/57 w/ a pulse 69 to 106/53 w/ a pulse 66 .Is this healthy or should my diastolic be higher like over 69-90 and my pulse be in the 50's ? I bike about 50 -100 miles a week. Thank You XXXXXXX Also I am short of breath on occasion upon running stairs for example etc I am 65 yrs old male
Posted Sun, 1 Jul 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 1 hour later
Hello ,
Thanks for writing in.
Your blood pressure and pulse rate are well within the normal range. Regular exercise lowers your resting pulse rate and blood pressure which is why you have lower than expected readings. We would be concerned if your blood pressure was > 120/80 mm Hg or your pulse rate would be <60 or >100 beats per minute.

The normal range of BP is less than or equal to 120/80 upto 140/90.But ideally better to keep it at less than 120/80. Your Blood Pressure reading is also well within the range.Blood pressure readings vary with age,exercise, time of day etc.So, I feel your BP is within the normal range. And you bike about 50-100 miles a week; which is very good .
I would like to know whether the shortness of breath while running up the stairs a recent development or has it been there for quite sometime. I feel the shortness of breath does need evaluation; even though most people would be out of breath if they ran up a flight of stairs. Given your age it would be best to get a cardiac evaluation done like ECG, Treadmill test and an ECHO etc.
Additionally with this kind of exercise you should be taking about 2-3 litres of water in a day which should address the problem of dark urine.
Hope I have answered your question. If you have any further queries, I will be happy to answer them for you.
Have a great day
Dr.Divya Kuttikrishnan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Shortness of breath on climbing stairs. Is my blood pressure and pulse rate normal? 5 hours later
I have read XXXXXXX If the diastolic pressure is too low (known as hypotension or low blood pressure), the blood is not able to bring oxygen and nutrients to all the body's cells and remove waste matter. This can cause the cells to die. The diastolic blood pressure is considered low when the blood pressure reading is below 60 XXXXXXX Mine stays in the early to mid 50's during rest In addition I am more temperature sensitive. Running gets me out of breath more than any exercise I have driven a road bike 100 miles in a event and the breathing problems doesn't occur. Most of these changes appear recent that is why I mention these symptoms. Thank you for again for addressing my concerns XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 15 hours later

I understand your concern about your diastolic blood pressure below 60; i.e. mid 50's, but given your activity level with biking and all, I would say that per se is nothing to worry.

If your BP recording has been in this range previously, it is perfectly fine. Some individuals have a diastolic BP up to 50mmHg, but if it has previously been that way and they have no problems, we do not classify them as being hypotensive. That BP recording is normal for that particular individual.

However, since your out of breath problem is a recent one, I would DEFINITELY suggest you to go for a cardiac evaluation including ECG, ECHO, Treadmill test.

Hope I have answered your question. Kindly get back to me if you have any further questions.

Have a great day.
Dr.Divya Kuttikrishnan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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