Elevated heart rate over time linked to death risk

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Washington, Aug 13 (ANI): Scientists have found that an elevated resting heart rate that develops or persists during follow-up is associated with a significantly increased risk of death, whether from heart disease or other causes.

The study, which was conducted on more than 9,000 patients by researchers from the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, suggested that tracking heart rate over time can provide a profoundly simple and important marker of health issues that could become lethal but which also might be prevented with diagnosis and treatment.

"It is easy and inexpensive to determine heart rate, and in fact is done routinely in a doctor's office. But this study suggests that physicians need to track the pattern over a number of years, not just consider single readings," the study's lead investigator, Dr. Peter Okin, a noted cardiologist, said.

"Based on this study, we believe that an elevated heart rate seen over a number of years is worrisome, signifying that these patients need further evaluation to see what might be causing the high heart rate," he added.

In their study, researchers discovered that development of a heart rate of 84 beats per minute or greater that either developed or persisted in patients during the study's average five-year time span was linked to a 55 percent greater risk of cardiovascular death and a 79 percent greater risk of death from all causes. Although the participants had hypertension, the scientists adjusted for this fact as well as for other cardiovascular risk factors. A healthy heart rate is between 60 and 80 beats per minute.

The study was published in the July, online edition of the European Heart Journal. (ANI)

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