High Resting Heart Rate Predicts Major Cardio Events

In heart disease patients, high heart rate associated with increased risk of heart failure
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with stable coronary heart disease (CHD), a high resting heart rate is associated with an increase in major cardiovascular events, and the risk goes up as resting heart rate increases, according to research published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Jennifer E. Ho, M.D., of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues studied 9,580 patients with stable CHD for a median of 4.9 years to assess the effect of resting heart rate on major cardiovascular events.

The researchers found that patients with a baseline heart rate of ≥70 beats/min experienced major cardiovascular events at a rate of 11.9 percent, while the rate was 8.8 percent in those with a baseline heart rate of <70 beats/min. A heart rate of ≥70 beats/min was a significant independent predictor of heart failure hospitalization and all-cause mortality but not of stroke or myocardial infarction.

"In conclusion, in patients with stable CHD, every 10-beats/min increase in the heart rate at rest was associated with an 8 percent increase in cardiovascular events. In particular, a heart rate at rest of ≥70 beats/min was associated with a 40 percent increased risk of all-cause mortality and more than doubled the risk of heart failure hospitalization," the authors write.

The study was supported by Pfizer; two co-authors are employees of Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals.

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