Have high resting heart rate? Get ready to die early

Do you have higher resting heart rate? If yes, then you are at risk of dying early. According to a new study, faster resting heart rate ups the risk of early death in general population. What’s mind boggling is that the risk persists even for people without heart disease history, in fact, they have even higher risk of early mortality when compared to people with a history of cardiovascular problem.

People with higher resting heart rate have higher mortality risk when compared to their normal heart rate counterparts, warns a new study. Researchers have found an association between faster heart beats and increased risk of dying early in the general population. In addition, faster rate also increases the risk of death even in people without any heart disease history.

“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,” writes Dr. Dongfeng Zhang, Medical College of Qingdao University, Shandong, China, with coauthors. Generally heart beats 60 to 80 times per minute. Above 80 beats per minutes falls under the category of faster heart rate while below 60 beats per minute doctors call it slow heart rate.

The study was based on analysis of 46 other studies involving 12,46,203 patients and 78,349 deaths from all causes, and 8,48,320 patients and 25,800 deaths from heart disease. After assessing the data, Zang’s team concluded that for increment of every 10 beats per min in resting heart rate, the risk of all-cause mortality increased by 9 percent while the risk of cardiovascular mortality increased by 8 percent. It was also found that people falling under the category of faster resting heart rate (above 80 beats per minute) had nearly 45 percent greater risk of dying early when compared to the people with normal resting heart rate (between 60 and 80 beats per min).

Zhang said that mortality risk due to increased heart beats was greater in the case of all-cause mortality rather than cardiovascular mortality. He further made it clear that the study only presents a theoretical data which only suggests an association between heart rate and mortality risk and it do not draw a hard line that a person with high heart rate will die early. However, people with heart rate on the higher side should take precautions as previous studies have also suggested that it adversely affects health. Research on larger scale is required to confirm the findings.

The study was published in the Canadian Medial Association Journal (CMAJ).

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