Heart Rate Linked To Risk Of Death And Heart Disease

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Heart Rate Linked To Risk Of Death And Heart Disease
Heart Rate Linked To Risk Of Death And Heart Disease

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Heart rate linked to risk of death and heart disease

Scientists have found in middle-aged men a link between heart rate, heart disease and the risk of early death. In addition, men whose heart rate did not change with age was less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

Heart rate linked to risk of death and heart disease
Heart rate linked to risk of death and heart disease

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A heart rate of 75 per minute or higher in middle-aged people is associated with a doubling of the risk of death from any cause. This statement is true, at least for men, scientists report in the journal Open Heart.

Resting heart rates of 50 to 100 beats per minute are considered normal. With age, this indicator usually decreases, a slow rhythm indicates that the heart is working efficiently. Over the age of 50, an accelerated heart rate is associated with an increased risk of heart disease over the next 11 years, the authors write.

The researchers wanted to find out how the heart rate corresponding to the upper limits of the norm affects health and the risk of early death (before the age of 75) and how important changes in heart rate in the course of life. The study involved 1,450 randomly selected men born in 1943 in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 1993, 798 of them completed questionnaires that described their family history of heart disease and stress levels. They also underwent a medical examination that included heart rate measurements. The authors divided the participants into four groups depending on the heart rate: no more than 55, 66-75, and more than 75 beats per minute.

The men who survived were tested again for heart rate in 2003 and 2014 to assess changes in heart rate over time. Over 21 years of observation, 119 people (less than 15 percent) died before the age of 71, 237 people (28 percent) developed heart disease, and 113 (more than 14 percent) developed coronary heart disease.

Men with heart rates greater than 55 beats per minute were more likely to smoke, were less physically active, and were more stressed than men with slower heart rates. They were also more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular diseases: overweight, high blood pressure.

A heart rate of more than 75 beats per minute in 1993 was associated with a roughly twofold increase in the risk of death from any cause compared to men with a heart rate of less than 55 beats per minute.

Men who had a constant heart rate between 1993 and 2003, when they were 50 and 60 years old, had a 44 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to those with faster heart rates. An increase in heart rate by 1 beat during this time was associated with an increase in the risk of death by 3 percent, the risk of cardiovascular disease by 1 percent and the risk of coronary heart disease by 2 percent.

The authors point out that this study is limited by the gender and age of the participants, which in themselves may be important factors influencing these diseases. But the results indicate that monitoring heart rate may be important in predicting future increases in cardiovascular risk.

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