Heartrate is the term that doctors use for how many times per minute a person’s heart beats. It is also called pulse rate. What is normal for a resting heartrate, it turns out, can vary quite a bit. In fact, what’s normal for one person can vary by up to 70 beats per minute from what is normal for someone else.
Study Shows “Normal” is Relative When it Comes to Heartrate
The study was conducted by researchers at Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California. The study involved 92,000 people from across the country who wore a Fitbit for an average of 320 days. One of the pieces of information a Fitbit gathers is heartrate.
According to the results of the study, factors including age, gender, and body mass index are responsible for less than 10 percent of the variation in heartrates. Interestingly, the researchers also found that the seasons affect heartrate. Heartrates were higher in January and lower in July. Data also suggested that an individual’s heartrate can occasionally be up to 10 beats different per minute from their normal heartrate.
So, what do these results mean for your aging relative? The scientists suggest that just checking heartrate at doctor visits may not be enough to determine what is really normal for someone. Right now, the results of the check only raise a red flag if they are different from what is statistically considered normal. However, wearing a device that tracks resting heartrate may be better for establishing an individual baseline.
What Does Heartrate Mean for Health?
Doctors consider a normal resting heartrate to be between 60 and 100 beats per minute, though some say normal is really between 50 and 70. A slower or faster heartrate can mean different things. For example, a slow heartrate in a healthy person can mean they are physically fit or be due to a medicine they are taking. On the other hand, it could mean:
- Heart disease.
- Infection, like Lyme disease.
- High potassium levels.
- Underactive thyroid.
A fast heartrate can occur when a person is exercising, when they are nervous, or when using a stimulant, like caffeine. Other reasons for a fast heartrate are:
- Most kinds of infection or anything that causes a fever.
- Heart conditions.
- Some medications.
- Low potassium levels.
If your older family member’s doctor has raised concerns about their heartrate, a senior care provider can help with checking the older adult’s pulse several times throughout the day and recording the results. In addition, a senior care provider can take steps to help your loved one live a healthier lifestyle, which helps with most health conditions. For example, a senior care provider can cook balanced meals, help the older adult to get more exercise, and remind them to take their medications regularly.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Care in Kensington, MD please contact the caring staff at Nest & Care today at (240) 261-1328.