20 Jan Does Slow Heart Rate Signal Increased Heart Disease or Mortality Risk?
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ajay Dharod, M.D.
Coordinator of Medical Informatics
Department of Internal Medicine
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Dharod: There is a relative paucity of data regarding asymptomatic bradycardia in adults free of clinical cardiovascular disease. Are individuals with low heart rates simply healthy individuals with a non-clinically significant finding or is there a subclinical disease process? That was the question that generated this study. Until now, there had not been any research to determine if a slow heart rate contributed to the development of cardiovascular disease. We found that a heart rate (HR) of less than 50 was not associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease in participants regardless of whether they were taking Heart Rate-modifying drugs, such as beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. However, we did find a potential association between bradycardia and higher mortality rates in individuals taking HR-modifying drugs.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Dharod: For a large majority of people with a heart rate in the 40s or 50s who have no symptoms, the prognosis is very good.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Dharod: Further research is needed to determine whether this association is causally linked to heart rate or to the use of these drugs.
Dharod A, Soliman EZ, Dawood F, et al. Association of Asymptomatic Bradycardia With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). JAMA Intern Med.Published online January 19, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7655.
Ajay Dharod, M.D. (2016). Does Slow Heart Rate Signal Increased Heart Disease or Mortality Risk?