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AF Association
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Heart Rate

Hi All,

I also posted this question on the Yahoo AF group, so forgive me if you have already read my query.

I was diagnosed with persistent AF in November last year. I was placed on

Amiodarone and have been since. I now take 100MG every other day and so far I

haven't had any side effects (Had my Liver and Thyroid checked and all OK at the

moment). I'm fortunate in I can carry on with my active lifestyle and at the

age of 41 still play football, run and swim. Over the past three weeks I have

twice slipped back into AF, once whilst playing football and on Sunday whilst

running the Manchester 10K for the British Heart Foundation. To get myself out

I double my dosage of Amiodarone for a couple of days and I have found getting

on a stationary bike and really going for it flips me back into NSR. What I

noticed on Sunday when I went into AF during the run was when I stopped for a

rest my heart rate would go above 200, but when I jogged for a while, it would

come down to around 156. It did settle down to about 90 after the run. I

doubled my dosage of meds and yesterday hit the bike again. Again I noticed my

heart rate would drop once going hard, but would shoot up when I took a rest.

Low and behold an hour after the exercise I was back in NSR. Does anybody know

why my heart rate would go up whilst resting during in AF? Is it the

medication? I find it quite strange for my HR to rise whilst resting during



3 Replies

Hi Jason

I saw the question in the Yahoo group as well, and I am not sure I can give you a definitive answer, but perhaps can reassure you a bit with my experiences

I am nowhere near as fit as you, you obviously do a lot more than me, but since returning to exercise after diagnosis, I am now wearing a Polar FT7, and due to my lack of fitness when I started (and still) am really paying attention to HR.

What you appear to be saying is that during an episode your heart rate rises on resting, and that would appear to accord with others who say that for example a brisk walk brings down their heart rate during a episode.

So what MIGHT be happening is that the AF episode is taking your heart rate above 200, and then exercise during the attack is bringing it down. Stop the exercise and the heart rate goes back up as the episode drives it up.

Unlike you I am in permament AF so I do not get episodes, but am irregular all the time.

Now when I exercise, I get an almost immediate hit during warm up from c. 80 at rest to around 150 and then steadying out around 135, but like you after 45 mins of relatively hard work (for me) usually all between 135 and 150, I rest and then it starts to creep up to around 175 for 15 mins or so and then comes down gradually as I warm down.

I have a personal trainer (It's not posh I promise you I needed/need help to get back into fitness training) and he freaked out the first time it happened, as he had taken a doctors reference before taking me on and the doc had said it should be pulse based training peaking at around 160 for the first months.

I cannot really comment on the slippage in and out of NSR as I never slip in.

Hope this helps, but do ask your doctor/cardio about it

Good luck



Thank you very much for your response Ian. I know AF is a strange beast and I'm learning more about it each day. Unfortunately it's also very unpredictable, so when I think I'm forming some kind of a pattern to it, it throws me a curve ball. I don't know how much the medication has to do with things, but I tempted next time to not increase my dosage and just hit the Bike. If I can flip back out of AF by this method, then I'll be more than happy. I wonder if I can get an exercise bike on prescription :)

Thanks again and good luck with your fitness training and of course your AF

Take care,



When my heart rate skyrockets I have to slow down completely - even walking brings on near passing out... in contrast, there is a moment (5-9 hours later into nonstop Afib RVR) if I get up and walk about I will cardioconvert.. can't tell you why or when, but I feel it is time to get up and walk about. The emergency room people go ballastic and then are gobsmacked when it works. We are all such different creatures! Good luck.


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