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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What do high heart rate levels, heaviness in the chest and breathlessness indicate in an elderly patient?

Answered by
Dr. Ilir Sharka


Practicing since :2001

Answered : 6324 Questions

Posted on Mon, 10 Sep 2018 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: M/W 74 years old. Been active all of my adult life. Non smoker. My normal heart rate is in the mid 80's. My heart rate now seems high. 130bpm working out, droping to 118 bpm after two minutes of the work out. Resting heart is now 98-110. Been going on for a couple of weeks. chest feels a little heavy and have some shortness of breath.
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 18 minutes later
Brief Answer:

I would explain as follows:

Detailed Answer:


It seems that your heart rate is set to high levels lately.

And this is a nonspecific sign that a health disorder stays behind your actual clinical symptomatology.

When dealing with fast heart rate the first thing to do is clarifying whether we are in front of just a sinus tachycardia or some kind of cardiac arrhythmia has been settled down.

Serving such purpose a resting ECG and if necessary even an ambulatory ECG monitoring (Holter) would be necessary.

In addition, besides a careful physical exam to investigate for any obvious clinical signs.

(a heart murmur, presence of high body temperature, limbs edema, pulmonary congestion, etc). It is advisable performing several lab tests like:

- complete blood count (for anemia),
- CRP & ESR (for inflammation),
- thyroid hormones levels (for thyroid dysfunction),
- blood electrolytes level (possible imbalance),
- chest X-ray study,
- cardiac ultrasound,
- liver and renal function tests,
- fasting blood glucose

You need to discuss with your attending physician on the above-mentioned issues, as they would be beneficial in clarifying your heart rate concern.

Hope I have answered your query query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Brief Answer:

Consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

Detailed Answer:


Please also discuss with your doctor on the above-mentioned issues of differential diagnosis workup.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr. Ilir Sharka, Cardiologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Ilir Sharka 28 minutes later
Some of those tests were done during my last physical. All the CBC were in normal range. TSH was 1.00, all cholesterol were in the normal range including Triglcerides. I will contact my doctor to follow up. Thanks for the quick response.

The User accepted the expert's answer

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