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BPM Full Form: Decoding the Beats Per Minute in Heart Health

BPM full form

Author:- Mr. Ritesh Sharma

The heart is the most essential organ of the body. This ticker pumps life into every part of our being. The heartbeats are mostly gauged in BPM. BPM Full Form is beats per minute. It is defined as the amount of times, the human heart contracted in a minute. Through BPM, the activity of the heart is measured which defines the pulse rate. While the study of pulse rate seems simple on the surface, there is a lot of complexity underneath the topic. 

Let’s delve deep into the meaning of beats per minute in heart health and uncover some insightful details.

BPM Full Form

As we have mentioned earlier, the bpm full form is” beats per minute”. The average human heart of an adult contracts 60 to 100 times per minute, indicating the pulse rate is the same. However, in conditions like arrhythmias of different arrhythmia classification (irregularities in the heart rhythm), the heart rate tends to exceed its normal range or go below it. This leads to fluctuation in the pulse rate as well. 

More details about pulse and pulse rate in humans measured by BPM Full Form are covered in this blog below.

What is Pulse Rate?

Pulse rate is characterized by the number of times the heart beats per minute. It is a parameter that is predominantly used in the realm of cardiac health. BPM is the unit in which the pulse rate is measured. Through the pulse rate, cardiac function and overall health can be assessed. Many factors including age, fitness level, underlying health conditions, etc, can influence the pulse rate. 

Irregular Pulse

An irregular pulse stems from a heart rhythm disorder or irregular heartbeat. It occurs when the heart rhythm becomes abnormal. Some irregularities in the pulse rate pose fleeting conditions like slow heart rate or heart palpitations, while other irregularities can pose serious risks to the heart including conditions such as atrial fibrillation, monomorphic ventricular tachycardia, bradycardia, etc. 

The irregular pulse normally has a heart rate below 60 BPM or above 100 BPM. The pathophysiology of cardiac arrhythmia is also understood by the irregular pulse pattern. The heart rate below 60 BPM comes under the category of arrhythmia called bradycardia and the heart rate above 100 BPM comes under the category of arrhythmia called tachycardia. Hence, there is a stark difference between tachycardia and bradycardia

It is necessary to detect the irregular pulse immediately to safeguard from hazardous medical conditions such as blood clots, stroke, or heart failure. 

Irregularities in the Heart Rhythm

The irregularities in the heart rhythm are referred to as arrhythmia in medical terms. It consists of broad heart diseases stemming from heart rhythm disorders due to irregular electrical activity in the heat showcased by normal ECG and abnormal ECG. There are various types of arrhythmias depending on the place of origin of heart irregularities. 

Arrhythmias originating in the atria (upper chambers) of the heart are atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, atrial bradycardia, etc. On the other hand, the arrhythmias originating in the ventricles (lower chambers) of the heart are Supraventricular Tachycardia, Ventricular bradycardia, Ventricular Fibrillation, etc. 

Pulse Rate in Developing Babies

The pulse rate is measured in BPM (beats per minute) in the developing babies, i.e. fetuses. It provides crucial insights into the well-being of developing babies even before the birth. The fetal pulse rate often lies within the range of 100 to 120 BPM in the initial stages of development inside the mother’s womb. However, as the development of the fetus progresses, the heart rate elevates to 120 to 160 BPM. 

In addition to this, very often, the heart rate of the developing baby exceeds 160 BPM causing fetal tachycardia which is normally a harmless arrhythmia. Akin to this, the heart rate of the developing baby can also go below 120 BPM causing fetal bradycardia, which is also considered a harmless arrhythmia. 

Factors Affecting the Pulse Rate

The pulse rate in humans is affected by numerous factors that shape its rhythm and intensity. These factors range from Physical Activity to Temperature and Environment. Let’s delve into these factors below:-

  • Physical Activity: Physical exertion can cause the pulse rate to exceed its normal range of 60 to 100 BPM due to the body’s extended requirements for oxygen and nutrients. However, the pulse rate comes back to its normal range once the body comes back to the state of rest. 
  • Emotional State: Emotional states of the body, such as anxiety, stress, and excitement can trigger the pulse rate and cause it to elevate. Apart from this, the flight-or-fight response of the body can increase the pulse rate causing it to be prepared for the perceived threat. 
  • Medications and Substances: Some medications such as caffeine, nicotine, and illicit drugs can either stimulate or depress the cardiovascular system. Due to this, there could be a substantial increase or decrease in the pulse rate. 
  • Temperature and Environment: Very high temperatures, high altitude, or humidity can influence the pulse rate. This happens due to the body’s attempt to maintain the ideal temperature and oxygen levels as opposed to the environmental or temperature factors. 
  • Underlying Health Conditions: Underlying health conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and thyroid can impact the heart rate causing the pulse rate to either elevate or depress. 



Why is it important to check Pulse Rate?

Checking pulse rate is important to maintain the ideal state of the cardiovascular system. While the elevated or decreased pulse rate could be harmless and be no cause for alarm. However, a persistent state of abnormal pulse can put a strain on the heart. If this happens to you, you must consult a healthcare professional promptly. 

Furthermore, getting diagnostic tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG/ EKG) done will also help you in this scenario to diagnose the electrical activity of the heart efficiently. For immediate medical intervention in high-risk cases, you can use a portable ECG for live ECG monitoring that will immediately let you know if there is something wrong with your cardiovascular system. 

The pulse rate measured in BPM is an essential parameter to diagnose cardiac health comprehensively. You must keep track of it and in the case of prolonged irregular pulse rate, you must consult a healthcare professional immediately. 

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