Normal pulse rates vary among people of different ages and with different health conditions. High pulse rates typically include a strong and rapid pulse and they may include tachycardia, an abnormally rapid heart rhythm. The most common high pulse rate causes can include heavy exercise and anxiety, as well as medical conditions such as pregnancy, an overactive thyroid, and a fever.
The pulse is a measurement of the number of heartbeats that a person experiences per minute. Pulse rates are commonly taken on the wrist, although they may be taken in other parts of the body such as the neck, temple, or ankle. Normal pulse rates vary among individuals and typically need to be evaluated by a physician.
Causes of a high pulse associated with an arrhythmia may include the abuse of drugs and other substances such as caffeine, amphetamines, and cocaine. Beta blocker drugs and psychotropic medications can also be cause a high pulse rate in some cases. A fluid overload in the body may lead to a rapid pulse due to kidney failure or heart failure. Disorders of the heart valves such as aortic valve regurgitation may be cause high pulse rate for some individuals.
Adults and children over the age of ten years with a normal pulse rate usually have between 60 and 100 heartbeats per minute. Some well-trained athletes may develop a normal pulse rate of 40 to 60 beats per minute. Children from one to ten years of age tend to have pulse rates of 70 to 120 beats per minute, while newborn infants often have a normal pulse rate of 100 to 160 beats per minute.
In some cases, a bounding or rapid pulse may be visible in the arteries that are near the skin's surface. Most doctors conduct a thorough medical examination to find high pulse rate causes for an individual patient. Tests such as a chest x-ray, an echocardiogram, or an electrocardiogram (EKG), as well as blood tests may be performed in order to help a physician identify any underlying medical conditions. In many cases, the successful treatment of an underlying cause of a high pulse rate can bring a patient's pulse rate back to normal.
Some patients with a rapid pulse may have an arrhythmia know as a tachycardia. The signs of an arrhythmia may be mild or severe, and may include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting can occur with a heart arrhythmia. In some cases, a patient's heart may skip beats and may alter the pattern measured in his pulse. Paleness and sweating may also occur with some arrhythmias.