There is no direct connection between blood pressure and heart rate. In some cases, there can be a direct correlation between the two, and in other incidences, there can be an inverse relationship, but it is important to understand that the only effective way of determining blood pressure is through blood pressure testing. Blood pressure measurements are read as mm Hg, or millimeters of mercury. An example of this is 120/80 mm Hg. Heart rate is measured by beats per minute, such as 60 BPM.
Sometimes heart rate and blood pressure increase together, such as when exercising. This occurs because exercise leads to a natural increase in both blood pressure and heart rate. Both will return to normal levels after completing the workout session. Some medications can lead to an inverse relationship between heart rate and blood pressure. For example, medications that increase blood pressure can cause the heart rate to drop. This is an effect of the medication, and not an indicator that there is a relationship between heart rate and blood pressure.
It is possible for a relationship to exist between blood pressure and heart rate in some instances. For example, a person with high blood pressure, that has that condition under control, may develop an unrelated arrhythmia. This change in heart rate can affect blood pressure. Generally, however, the rhythm and rate that the heart beats is controlled by electrical impulses, and has no relationship to blood pressure.
As there is no way to link blood pressure and heart rate, it is important for individuals who have high blood pressure to regularly monitor their blood pressure. Measuring heart rate or pulse rate will not provide an accurate indicator of whether blood pressure is under control. It is possible to have normal blood pressure and an altered heart rate, or a normal heart rate and elevated blood pressure.
Symptoms of high blood pressure include shortness of breath, headache, chest pain, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, and vomiting. Untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, heart or kidney failure, and aneurysms. Symptoms of an irregular heart rate, or arrythmia, include shortness of breath, in particular while under stress or when performing physical activity, irregular pulse, heart palpitations, weakness, chest pain, lightheadedness, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, chest pain, and fainting. Arrythmia can lead to heart failure or strokes.