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Have a heart rate of about 120. How to reduce it?

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I have a heart rate olf about 120. It has been like that for years. I am now 60 years old
can I slow it down?
Posted Sat, 6 Jul 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 33 minutes later

Thank you for your question.

The normal heart rate at rest in a relaxed state is between 60 and 80 beats per minute for your age. It will increase with exercise but if your heart rate is 120 at rest, this would need investigating. As you say that it has been at this rate for years then there is no need to see your doctor urgently but I would recommend.

A visit in the next few days if possible.

There are a number of causes of a fast heart rate at your age and all of them are treatable, often with medications.

One of the commoner causes is atrial fibrillation. This is when the heart rate may be fast and irregular. This may be an isolated problem or associated with a heart condition. Either way the treatment would be to slow the heart rate down so the heart works more efficiently.

Other causes of a fast heart rate are less common. Your doctor may want to order an EKG and possibly a heart scan or echo.

These are just some suggestions, clearly your doctor will gain more information from a full history and examination. Therefore, I would recommend a visit soon.

I hope this has been of help to you.

Dr K A Pottinger
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