The pulse shows how fast the heart is pumping blood through the body. Stress and illness have a negative effect on the resting heart rate – the risk of a heart attack increases.
As a rule, the doctor checks it together with the blood pressure – it is important that everyone checks the resting heart rate from time to time. Heart beats per minute can easily be felt on the left or right wrist. If the resting heart rate is too high, the risk of heart damage increases. Cardiovascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis, heart attack and heart failure are the most common causes of death in Germany. In addition to high blood pressure, a high heart rate is also a risk factor. Frequent palpitations are exhausting for the heart and can be fatal in the worst case scenario. Anyone with persistently elevated resting heart rate with tachycardia is at greater risk of heart attack.
A normal pulse is important – what does it mean?
The beats we feel on our own wrist or the side of our neck are pulse waves. These are caused by the movement of blood, which is pushed against the walls of the arteries with each heartbeat. The pulse corresponds to the heart rate, i.e. the number of heartbeats per minute. To obtain a real resting heart rate value, the heart rate is also measured “at rest”, sitting or lying down. In the case of cardiac arrhythmias, the measurable pulse can actually deviate from the heartbeat, the so-called pulse deficit, because North German Broadcasting (GDR) reported.
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A normal pulse shows a heart rate of 60 to 80 beats per minute German Heart Foundation. The heart rate can also fluctuate depending on the day and the load. Age, exertion and physical fitness are factors that affect heart rate. For your reference: Recreational athletes tend to have a heart rate between 60 and 70, untrained people often over 80. In elite athletes, the heart beats at rest only about 40 times per minute.
Which pulse is dangerous?
A persistently high heart rate can be a sign of poor physical condition. The cause is often smoking, high consumption of coffee and alcohol and little exercise. However, a high resting heart rate can also be a warning sign of diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity. If the heart beats continuously at a rate greater than 140 beats per minute, there is a risk of dangerous heart failure. Hormonal changes or an overactive thyroid gland can also cause an increased resting heart rate with tachycardia.
Too high heart rate, even at night: signs of heart failure with risk of heart attack
Heart rate usually decreases during sleep and at night. After that, our body goes into sleep mode and the heart pumps less blood. A weak or diseased heart often does not rest even when the sufferer is asleep. Resting heart rate is then still around 80 beats per minute. In these cases, experts speak of a frozen pulse. It is common in diabetics and increases the risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death.
This article contains only general information on the relevant health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no case does it replace a doctor’s visit. Unfortunately, our editors are not authorized to answer individual questions regarding clinical images.