How Many Times a Heart Beats Per Minute Before You Have a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs as a result of the sudden blockage in the arteries of heart that supply blood to the heart. The location and amount of blockage decide the fate of heart attack. Normally heart beats at the rate of 60 to 80 beats per minute. Disruption of blood flow in the arteries of the heart due to blockage is a heart attack. The heart rate when you have a heart attack may alter and can be either slower or faster than normal heart rate or maybe with skipped beats or extra abnormal beats.

How Many Times a Heart Beats Per Minute Before You Have a Heart Attack?

The heart beats at the rate of 60 to 80 beats per minute to pump blood to the rest of the body. The heartbeats may alter due to insufficient blood supply or improper electric supply to the heart itself. The insufficient blood supply can be due to disruption of blood flow by a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the heart. The heartbeats may become slow or fast or irregular when you have a heart attack.

The heart rates during a heart attack-


Bradycardia is slow heart rate than normal. It is common when you have a heart attack. When pumping action of heart slow down during a heart attack, the heart rate drops down below 60 beats per minute. Usually patient feels pain in the chest. When the heart rate further goes down below 40 beats per minute during a heart attack, the patient feel dizziness, irritability, he cannot concentrate and the blood pressure drops down abruptly. The patient during a heart attack may fall down due to the low heartbeat. The reason can be disrupted blood flow due to blockage in the arteries of the heart. Bradycardia can also happen due to discontinuation of electric impulses to the heart to work properly.


Tachycardia is rapid heart beats per minute while a person is at rest. Tachycardia is experienced when the heart rate increases beyond 100 beats per minute at rest. The rate at which heart pumps blood from upper or lower chambers or both get remarkably increased in tachycardia. It is caused by abnormal electric supply to heart muscles to contract for pumping action. During a heart attack, the heart may beat more rapidly to accelerate its pumping action. Tachycardia has potentials to disturb the normal function of the heart and can result in complications like stroke, heart failures, sudden cardiac arrest or even death.

Delayed Heart Rate

Sometimes Heart rate gets delayed during a heart attack. This is the most serious type of heart rate which occurs due to blockage or alteration in electrical impulses during a heart attack. Heartbeats can be in a non-organized manner during a heart attack and heart rate becomes slow and irregular leading to loss of consciousness.

Extra or Skipped Heartbeats

Premature ventricular contractions or PVCs can happen during a heart attack that leads to the generation of extra abnormal beats. PVCs occur due to inadequate blood flow during a heart attack. However, PVCs can also happen in healthy hearts. These extra beats develop in lower chambers of the heart that interfere with the normal rhythmic pumping action of the heart. Extra heartbeat can also be a skipped heartbeat in the chest with a feeling of fluttering or pounding in the chest. With the increase in PVCs, heart rate also increases disturbing the normal rhythm of the heart.


During a heart attack, heart rate often changes. It may be slow or normal at a moment and a few minutes later, heart rate may become fast depending on the damage caused to heart muscles due to the insufficient blood supply.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 16, 2018

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