Slow AF, raised BP

Does anyone else have episodes like these? My normal non-AF heart rate is in the low 60s with BP around low-mid 130s/low-mid 70s. When in AF the heart rate doesn't get above low 80s but BP soars to mid-high 150s/high 80s-low90s.

I had such an episode yesterday evening, accompanied by a strong heart beat and pounding in my ears. It was still there when I went to bed and kept me awake for a few hours as the heart beat seemed to be bouncing off the mattress.

This morning, my pulse rate is back in the 60s but BP still up at around 150/80. Not currently being treated for high BP but doctors are aware. On rate control for AF. Often unaware if I am in AF as heart rate isn't high.

14 Replies

  • I'm the opposite! I had a minor bit of AF a couple of days ago and HR was 89, with BP 90/63. As it improved, HR went to 62, BP 122/67. I didn't take any further BP, but HR went to 59 and I was in NSR. Heart rate is usually low fifties.

  • Yes this happens to me .my normal BP is around 90/53 then all of a sodden it will shoot up but hr stays around 60 it makes me feel very cold and shakey and quite sick I am on meds for high blood pressure

  • Morning Pat,

    Mine goes all over the shot sometimes very high other times really low I think the heart goes into overdrive and the body tries to react to compensate. After all our system must wonder what the heck is going on. My bp usually goes sky high 220/110 in hospital the other week, pulse between 48 and 80. When in atrial tachy episode (a big one ) pulse goes to 250 but that is only in a violent Episode.

    It is very unnerving and I hope things settle soon for you. Was your heart rate regular or irregular as it was pounding away.

    Your bp does not sound bad overall. Take care.

    Dee x

  • Dee, it may sound pathetic for someone with AF but I often a) don't know that I am having an episode because the rate is normal b) am not good at judging whether it is regular or irregular.

  • I have the feeling you maybe aren't too enthusiastic about such things MrsPat but I have an Omron ECG gadget (similar to Alivecor) and it gives me a 30 second reading. It can be viewed and gives a fair picture of what the heart's up to. It's much more discussable with one's other half if you can both look at the same thing and it's there to show your GP / EP later. I find it easier than trying to describe what's been going on.

  • These are the vagaries of af one person experiences them one way and another person totally differently. No wonder we get confused with this barking mad condition. trying to describe it to medics without an ecg to back it up is always an issue too.

    I do hope things settle and you can get some answers from your doctor if needed.

    Take care.


  • It's not pathetic at all. I have exactly the same problem but I can now get a better idea of irregularity by feeling for my carotid pulse. Half way down your neck, alongside the trachea, is a better pulse than at the end of your arm!

  • Yes I am a bit like that in that my BP always goes UP when my HR goes DOWN.

  • I always feel the pulse in my neck as my wrist gives a poor reading. Cannot tell the difference between slightly erratic and the odd missed beat!

    No, I'm not keen on an Alivecor or similar. Measuring things doesn't comfort me as some suggest, just adds to the anxiety and I know I could become OCD. I would only get one if the doctor thought it was helpful.

    Luckily, none of these symptoms affects my energy and exercise levels unless they give me a poor night's sleep like last night.

    I rarely discuss things like this with my other half. That's what I use this Forum for!

  • I've only used my ECG a few times this year - usually twice per session of AF. I like to be able to see the trace which is usually not wildly random but a fairly uniform pattern with irregular timing. I find it reduces the anxiety and acts both as a record of what was happening and a diary. I agree that the forum is a excellent way of not involving or burdening one's other half too much!

  • If you are on rate control that would possibly be why you don't feel anything and the rate doesn't Change much

  • Yes, I have similar pulse and BP stats plus the pounding in my right ear (I have stronger carotid artery on the right side) is constant now and notice it more in bed or when not doing something.

    Not measured my BP during an episode but wouldn't be surprised if it was up a bit like yours.

    I know immediately when I am in AF even though pulse is only mostly 80 with some very brief quicker ones as I feel uncomfortable.

    I wouldn't worry too much or talk to your cardio.

  • Pleased to report that all is quiet this morning. A decent night's sleep and 134/76 64bpm. I can cope with most things if I have a good night's sleep. Thank you for your replies.

  • If sitting during AF blood pressure is a bit down; registered heart rate a bit up, but still in normal range, e.g., 85 as opposed to usual 60 bpm. Any activity has a large affect, even standing up can raise my registered heart rate to over 100 bpm and my irregular beats become more irregular. So I tend to stay still

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