Submitted by Dr T on November 28, 2010 – 4:57pm
Slow heart rate, palpitations, certainly spell rhythm problems, and with your heavy smoking, I’d certainly be concerned about your heart.
You need have your heart examined as well as the risk factors for developing heart disease. Besides smoking, are diabetes and obesity an issue?
If your slow heart rate is caused by a problem of the electrical conduction system of your heart, you might ultimately need a pacemaker, but with those palpitations your situation might be more complicated.
Thus, you need blood tests, an EKG and probably a 24 hour EKG (Holter monitor), as well as an ECHO of your heart to check that mitral valve to find out it is leaking and, if so, how badly. Women sometimes have a condition called mitral valve prolapse or floppy mitral valve that might apply to your situation;
Your risk for heart disease:
Hope this helps,