Higher Resting Heart Rate in Mid-Life Linked With Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Resting heart rate (RHR) is the number of beats per minute while
your body is at rest. The normal range is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
However, a new study suggests that having an RHR above 75 beats per minute in mid-life
increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and early
536 men born in 1943 completed the study. The men were first
examined in 1993, at which time they were given a comprehensive medical
check-up that included RHR. They also filled out questionnaires on lifestyle,
history of cardiovascular disease, and stress levels. The men were reexamined in 2003 and 2014, and
RHR was measured again.
During the 21-year study period, 28% of the men developed cardiovascular
disease, 14% developed coronary heart disease, and 15% died before the age of
71. Participants who had an RHR above 75 beats per minute in 1993 had a twofold
risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, or early mortality, compared
to those with an RHR less than 55 beats per minute.
Participants whose RHR stayed the same between 1993 and 2004 had
a 44% decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to those whose RHR
increased with time. In addition, every beat increase in RHR from 1993 to 2014
was associated with a 1% higher risk of cardiovascular disease, a 2% higher
risk of coronary heart disease, and a 3% increased risk of early mortality.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of
Gothenburg and the Sichuan University West China Hospital. It was published
online ahead of print on April 15, 2019 in the journal Open Heart.