Long-Term Increase in Resting Heart Rate Ups Mortality

Higher RHR tied to greater risk of dying from ischemic heart disease and all-cause mortality

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- An increase in resting heart rate (RHR) over a 10-year period is associated with an increased risk of dying from ischemic heart disease (IHD), according to a study published in the Dec. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Javaid Nauman, Ph.D., from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and colleagues examined the correlation between long-term longitudinal changes in RHR and the risk of dying from IHD. The RHRs of 13,499 men and 15,826 women, without known cardiovascular disease, were measured at two points in time about 10 years apart, with subsequent mortality follow-up for a mean of 12 years.

The investigators found that 3,038 people died during the follow-up, with 388 deaths attributed to IHD. A greater risk of death from IHD was correlated with an increase in RHR. For participants with a RHR of less than 70 beats/minute at the first measurement, and more than 85 beats/minute at the second measurement, the adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) for IHD mortality was 1.9, compared with individuals with a RHR of less than 70 beats/minute at both measurements. The corresponding aHR for individuals with a RHR between 70 and 85 beats/minute at the first measurement, and more than 85 beats/minute at the second measurement, was 1.8. The correlation between change in RHR and IHD mortality was not linear. Similar, but weaker, correlations were seen for total mortality.

"Our findings provide further support for the hypothesis that RHR may be an important prognostic marker for IHD and total mortality," the authors write.

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