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Wednesday, August 20, 2014
High Blood Pressure
question: I am 69 years of age, female, with diabeties 2 and have been diagnoised with Congestive Heart Failure and on high blood pressure medication. This morning my blood pressure reading was: 104/39 and pulse of 39. Waited about 45 minutes and the reading was 127/51 and pulse was 40. Why was my pressure so low and what should I have done? Thank you
The optimal heart rate for most people is around 60. A heart rate below 52 can cause symptoms and is a reason for concern. The most common cause for slow heart rate (bradycardia) is medications, such as beta blockers or some calcium channel blockers (diltiazem and verapamil). Other causes include sinus node dysfunction, which can be seen in older patients, hypothyroidism and, in rare cases, infections.
In your case, you will need a review of your medications, an EKG and possibly tests to evaluate your heart and your thyroid gland.
Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati