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Question:

Are stress and my naturally high heart rate unhealthy for my heart?

Dear Doctor, I am a 32 years old woman, Asian. My family medical history is that my mother's side grandfather has premature beats at age of 65. My mother has high blood pressure after age 45. Since age 30, I feel chest distress every time I am tired or stressed, and also when the weather is bad. Last Saturday, during a very stressful event, I feel the left side of my underarm hurts. I try to relax and ease away after several hours. My average heart beat rate is around 80. I am worried if my natural high heart rate and the stress makes my heart unhealthy?

submitted by Yin from Houston, Texas on 4/15/2013

Answer:

Atasu K. Nayak, MDby Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Atasu Nayak, MD    

Thanks for the question. Stress can increase your heart rate. A stress test could rule out coronary artery disease for your chest pain. A 24 hour Holter monitor can explain much regarding your heart rate. Please avoid caffeine and alcohol. Please consider seeing a cardiologist for further investigations and treatment.

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Updated April 2013
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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