Higher Resting Heart Rate Linked to Higher Mortality
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:00 AM

A faster heart rate may indicate a greater risk of all-cause mortality.  

A higher resting heart rate is associated with a higher risk for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, even in those without traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Results from this meta-analysis suggest the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality increased by 9% and 8% for every 10 beats/min increment of resting heart rate. The risk of all-cause mortality increased significantly with increasing resting heart rate in a linear relation, but a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular mortality was observed at 90 beats/min...consistent with the traditionally defined tachycardia threshold of 90 or 100 beats/min for prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers identified 46 studies that met their inclusion criteria of English or Chinese articles reporting findings from general population prospective studies. The data set included more than 1.2 million patients and 78,349 all-cause deaths from 40 studies. Data specific to cardiovascular mortality included 848,320 patients and 25,800 deaths from 29 studies. Duration of follow-up across the studies ranged from 3 to 40 years.

The authors found that those with a resting heart rate of 60 to 80 bpm were 12% more likely to die from any cause and 8% more likely to die from cardiovascular causes compared with those with a resting heart rate of 45 bpm. The risk became 45% greater for all-cause mortality and 33% greater for cardiovascular mortality among patients with a resting heart rate greater than 80 bpm.

Adjusting for traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors did not substantially change the findings: All-cause mortality risk increased significantly in a linear fashion as resting heart rate increased when compared with a resting rate of 45 bpm, but risk for cardiovascular death increased significantly at a resting rate of 90 bpm. 

Overall, the association of resting heart rate with risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality is independent of traditional risk factors of cardiovascular disease, suggesting that resting heart rate is a predictor of mortality in the general population.

Previous research has identified a link between resting heart rate and outcomes in patients with renal disease, erectile dysfunction, and pulmonary hypertension, and even noncardiovascular conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

Source:  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/855013