Bronchial spasms

Rapid resting heart rate: What are the causes?

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The resting heart rate is the number of times the heart beats in a minute while at rest. This varies for everyone, but the normal range is within 60-100 beats per minute.

The resting heart rate that is higher than 100 is called as tachycardia. It might be normal for the individual or an indication of a serious condition. It is recommended to seek medical care if worried about the high heart rate, especially in cases where it is accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain or fainting.

Cardiovascular risk factor

Being familiar with the resting heart rate and how it varies over time can provide an insight into the cardiovascular health. The resting heart rate rises as one starts to age and can be affected by tobacco, caffeine and some medications.

Arrhythmias or issues with the rhythm or rate of the heart can lead to a rapid resting heart rate.

A rapid resting heart rate higher than 80 beats per minute might put an individual at risk for cardiovascular disease. A healthy diet, regular exercise and reducing the stress levels can help lower the resting heart rate.

Can stress cause a rapid resting heart rate?

Stress can affect the body in various ways including an increase in the resting heart rate. Pain, anxiety, fright and distress linked with extreme emotions can increase the adrenaline and cortisone levels.

These hormones raise the heart rate and if stress continues, it can result to a rapid resting heart rate. Regular exercise and adequate sleep at night are ideal ways to manage stress.


A rapid resting heart rate might be the normal response of the body to different physiological ailments such as fever, dehydration or infections such as the flu or common cold.

Certain medications used to manage these conditions such as asthma medications and decongestants can also contribute to the increased heart rate.

Erratic heart function

Arrhythmias or issues with the rhythm or rate of the heart can lead to a rapid resting heart rate. Some of the arrhythmias are benign while others can be dangerous.

The arrhythmias that lead to an increase in the resting heart rate are those that raise the electrical conduction of the heart or those that cause an extra heartbeat that do not originate in the sinoatrial node (pacemaker of the heart).

Pathological conditions

There are some pathological conditions that can also trigger a rapid resting heart rate. Anemia which is a condition that lowers the ability to transport oxygen in the blood generally results to an increased heart rate.

Hyperthyroidism or increased thyroid activity is also another cause. A doctor should be consulted if the individual is suspected with these conditions since it is vital for proper treatment to be started.

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