AF Association

Low oxygen with slow heart rate?

Does a lower heart rate mean lower oxygen levels in the blood?

My husbands oxygen levels are 89% at rest during the day when they should be 90 at least and above. If it drops lower at night, that in itself could cause heart damage and damage to other organs. I'm wondering whether Bisoprolol and Amiodarone have caused this by slowing his heart rate right down. Would anyone have any information on this, please?

Incidentally, when his heart was racing in AF his Oxygen levels were around 95%.

7 Replies

Hi Bigleg, yes we have just acquired one as Sleep apnoea can cause AF. I was quite shocked, to be honest. We took the readings at various times during the day and they sometimes went up to 90, but never went higher.

I'm baffled, and it's something that needs to be mentioned when we next see the cardiologist. No-one has ever mentioned there was a problem before, though, so we wondered whether the drugs have caused it.


Just found a website which lists rare side effects of Amiodarone and yes, it lists decreased oxygen levels in the tissues or blood.

Oh well, at least we know, now, and with the oximeter we can keep an eye on it.


Only a thought but I've always suffered from cold fingers, toes etc and the AF only makes it worse. When I was in hospital they struggled to get accurate readings on the oximeters if my fingers were cold.

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Good point FlydeWhite. The readings were taken at different times and when his fingers were warm. The oximeter is quite a good quality one so pretty accurate. We're going to do an overnight test tonight just to freak us out even more.


Just for interest, I got myself an oximeter (on Amazon) and it arrived this morning. Interesting little instrument and gives oxygen levels as well as pulse rate and intensity. I'm not obsessed with metering myself by any means - but it is good to take the usual stuff when I feel unwell or have a particularly bad moment. It gives me something to pass on to the doctor if I go to see him. The oximeter will add to this. Thanks Davesgirl.



I always regard the road to health as a partnership, a case of taking responsibility for our own health as much as we can, which includes using monitoring technology like oxymeters and Alivecor, and then employing the expertise of the medical profession to help us further.

Just my personal viewpoint of course.


Totally agree. My GP once remarked that it was refreshing to find patients who were proactive with their health problems.


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