Can Blocked Arteries Cause High Heart Rate?

Blocked arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, can contribute to a variety of cardiovascular issues. While a high heart rate (tachycardia) isn’t typically a direct symptom of blocked arteries, certain conditions resulting from atherosclerosis might lead to an increased heart rate.

When arteries become narrowed or blocked due to the buildup of plaque (atherosclerosis), it restricts blood flow to the heart muscle, which can lead to conditions like coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD can cause various symptoms, such as chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or even heart palpitations.

In some cases, if the heart isn’t receiving an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood due to narrowed arteries, it may respond by beating faster (tachycardia) to try to compensate for the reduced blood flow. This increased heart rate is the heart’s attempt to pump more blood to meet the body’s demands, especially during physical activity or times of stress.

Furthermore, if a blockage causes a heart attack or myocardial infarction, the heart may respond with rapid or irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) as a result of the damage to the heart muscle.

While a high heart rate can be associated with conditions related to blocked arteries, it’s crucial to note that there are various causes of tachycardia, including stress, anxiety, medications, thyroid disorders, and more. If you’re experiencing a consistently high heart rate or have concerns about your heart health, it’s essential to seek medical evaluation to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.