AF Association


What is normal? My various meds have kept my heart rate within a reasonable range; my cardio consult seems content to leave it at that. However I am in permanent AF - 1 am 68 and this only diagnosed 6 months ago. When I get home from NZ at the end of Feb I have some issues/problems to take up with my GP; however, and the reason for my post, is to ask if it is normal to say to me 'steady as you go' and leave it at that. When I was admitted to A and E my pulse was banging away at 159; it has stablised at 80-90 . If that's it then great! Rhythm up and down but rate under control. Any thoughts?

6 Replies

I think you've answered your own question in that you seem to be thinking that surely you need to get the rhythm under control, not just slow it down. Although a slow arrhythmia is no doubt better than a fast one!!

My EP said my high heart rate was not DIRECTLY relevant. He got my rhythm under control, which in turn stopped all high heart rates AND most bad rhythms.

Those are my totally unmedically-trained thoughts.

Hope you get it sorted; it really wears you down as we all know 😟.





Hi AJFitz,

From my personal experience - 80 to 90 is still too high!

In the days pre AF my BP was always around 136/85 ish and my heart rate 88 to 90 bpm. The high end of the normally accepted range. When diagnosed with AF my HR clocked at 160 bpm. But with AF, 88 to 90 is still too high.

I am on Bisoprolol for rate control and have had some additional blood pressure medication added to my party bag of drugs which nowadays keep my BP to around 126/70 and the Bisoprolol keeps my HR at around 62 to 65 bpm. In my non medical view that is what you should be aiming for.



Back to GP/Consultant then.


ANY treatment for AF is ONLY about improving quality of life. The first line of attack is usually beta blockers to reduce rate and anticoagulants to prevent stroke. There is no evidence that rhythm control has any benefits over adequate rate control according to leading EPs in UK and although many people do feel better in NSR this is often hard to achieve other than by ablation.

Normal heart rate is considered to be between 60 and 100 bpm so your top rate of 90 is just about acceptable. If you feel OK and are adequately protected from stroke with anticoagulants I suspect that your GP will agree with the treatment so far. If you do not then you may wish to ask to be referred to an EP for consultation.


Thanks, Bob.


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