A new study has revealed that a higher resting heart rate is linked to increased risk of death from all causes, even for those people who are not suffering from heart diseases.
Dongfeng Zhang of the Medical College of Qingdao University said that the association of resting heart rate with risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality was independent of traditional risk factors of cardiovascular disease and suggested that resting heart rate was a predictor of mortality in the general population.
In the study, researchers assessed 46 studies involving 1 246 203 patients and 78 349 deaths from all causes, and 848 320 patients and 25 800 deaths from heart disease.
The authors said that results from this meta-analysis suggested the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality increased by 9 percent and 8 percent for every 10 beats/min increment of resting heart rate.
They found that people with a resting heart rate of more than 80 beats/min had a 45 percent higher risk of death from any cause than those with a resting heart rate of 60-80 beats/min, who had a 21 percent increased risk.
However, the absolute risk is still small. Findings were similar for people with cardiovascular risk factors.
Zhang said that their results highlighted that people should pay more attention to their resting heart rate for their health, and also indicate the potential importance of physical activity to lower resting heart rate.
The authors concluded that the magnitude of association between resting heart rate and all-cause mortality was stronger than that with cardiovascular mortality, and this discrepancy could be expected because resting heart rate had been also found to be associated with noncardiovascular mortality.
The study is published in the Journal Canadian Medical Association Journal.