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Just found interesting but scary article


calypso
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I was reading up about dysautonomia and came across this article:

http://www.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory...sp?docID=514906

I know that according to the POTSplace site, POTS isn't supposed to be life-threatening or life-shortening, but this article says otherwise. I'm a little freaked out, to say the least.

Any thoughts?

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Calypso

Thanks for posting this. I'm not a doctor or other medical professional, so I can't comment with any medical authority. However, I'll tell you my opinion. And I will be interested to hear other opinions and also if anyone shows this to his or her doctor, what they have to say.

This study specifically identified abnormal heart rate recovery as a marker for potential heart disease and sudden death due to abnormal heart rythm. That is different from tachycardia, PVCs, PACs etc that POTS causes. I don't know if it is typical with POTS to have abnormal heart rate recovery, but I have never heard or read that (and I admit I don't know how that is defined). But for example, when I exercise now, my heart rate goes up during exercise and then goes back to normal rate within minutes of subsiding my exercise.

When they use the term autonomic dysfunction in the context of the article and study, they may specifically be referring to individuals with pure autonomic failure, which is very different from POTS, although shares some symptoms.

They also point out this is ONE of many factors that increase risk of heart disease.

I think there is so much not understood still about both POTS and heart disease, let alone a connection between the two. We may be the generation of guinea pigs! But, also keep in mind (to reassure yourself) that 1) many people recover from POTS to a reasonable level with only minor symptoms most of their life and 2) many of us know family members who exhibited POTS symptoms, yet lived long lives and didn't die of a heart-related problem.

Katherine

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I'm not quite sure how to interpret the information presented in the article; I feel like I'd want to do a LOT more reading on the issue before getting too scared. (I mean, what could we do differently anyway?)

But it's interesting, and I'll take a copy of this article to my appt w/cardiologist in a couple weeks and will bring it up if there's time. The article doesn't say a lot of things that would be important to us ... for example, even though heart rate recovery is a function of the autonomic nervous system, the article doesn't say how many of the 838 people in the study w/abnormal heart rate recovery went on for further testing of the autonomic nervous system and were diagnosed with pots. (It definitely doesn't say that POTS is life threatening/shortening.)

Also, it says that researchers do NOT believe that having a normal heart rate recovery alone is necessarily a sign of reduced cardiac risk ...

but hey, what do I know? I'm just workin' on a way not to have something extra to worry about today! :rolleyes:

Thanks for posting -- maybe others can check w/their cardiologists too?

PS For what it's worth, I had a stress test followed immediately by an echochardiogram, and while my hr went up to 193 (I could have kept going, but the technicians didn't want to see what would happen when it hit 200 bpm), I think "recovery" post exercise was fine. (My resting rate that day was 148.)

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