Low Resting Heart Rate

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 14, 2007 9:43 PM GMT
    I'm wondering if there's such thing as a resting heart rate that is too low.

    A couple months ago I went into my doctor for a physical for my Peace Corps medical documentation. My resting heart rate was 46 BPM, which I just thought meant that I was in good health.

    Yesterday, however, I got a letter from the Peace Corps asking me to get my heart rate checked again because my heart rate was too low. I decided to check my resting heart rate with my new heart rate monitor, and it measured around the same as when I got checked by the doctor (47-52 was the general range, at least if I'm checking resting heart rate correctly).

    Is there a possibility that my heart rate is unhealthily low? Wouldn't a doctor have pointed that out?

    I don't know if anyone in here will have any experience with this subject, but if you do I'd love to hear your feedback.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 14, 2007 10:29 PM GMT
    Disclaimer: I'm only a medical student, so not an official source yet...

    As far as I know, if the only abnormality detected was a low HR, its probably not a problem, especially since it has remained constant. Athlete's HR do tend to be lower, as well. (the lowest HR in a healthy person was 28, in a cyclist)

    Have you had any other symptoms: pain, band-like tightness, shortness of breath, etc. when you work out or at rest?

    If not, you're probably just the low end of the bell curve for statistics, but it wouldn't hurt for you to see a cardiologist and have an ECG just to make sure.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 14, 2007 10:48 PM GMT
    The heart only gets so many beats and then it stops. If yours is going to take longer to get there, more power to ya. (I think)
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 14, 2007 11:53 PM GMT
    Of course if you're going into the Peace Corps have it checked but if you're very athletic it will tend to be low
    but when you exercise it will shoot up and go back down when you rest ... that's a direct measure of physical fitness
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    Sep 15, 2007 4:09 AM GMT
    I think you'll live Chewey. Honestly there really isn't any pthology associated with a slow heart rate in a healthy young male and have not symtomps -- I'm assuming you're healthy :) Actually it's considered a good thing in someone like you, and indiates a healthy heart. The elderly have problems with a slow heart beat, but even then you only do something if they are symptomatic.

    And yes, athletes and the athletically inclined do have slower heart rates, and not at all uncommon to find them in the 50's and 40's.

    You could go get it rechecked, and if they think nothing of it -- seems like they didn't the last time -- maybe they can write something for your application explaining why this is not a problem.
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    Sep 15, 2007 4:38 AM GMT

    No, I haven't had any other symptoms. I already have an appointment in a couple weeks to see my doctor again since I'm required to now that this has come up.

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. I had thought that it wasn't really all that abnormal considering my age and my fitness, but I started questioning things once I got that letter telling my my heart rate was low. I know the Peace Corps is really careful when it comes to health issues, so I'm hoping this won't end up being a problem.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Sep 15, 2007 6:51 AM GMT
    I think you'll be just fine. Really low BP is more of a concern!

    Go Peace Corps!!