Elevated Resting Heart Rate and Mortality in Adults

Bríain ó Hartaigh, Ph.D. Assistant Research Professor of Epidemiology Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging Weill Cornell Medical College MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Bríain ó Hartaigh, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor of Epidemiology
Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging
Weill Cornell Medical College


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Sustained elevations in resting heart rate measured longitudinally over the course of 6 years were strongly and independently associated with a greater risk of death from all causes in adults aged 65 years or older.
MedicalResearch.com Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer: It was particularly interesting to observe that a high resting heart rate was predictive of poorer survival among the oldest old (aged 80 years and above) in this study cohort, given that the evidence concerning the change in resting heart rate and its relationship with unhealthy life is sparse among this age strata.

MedicalResearch.com What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: Recently, the European Society of Hypertension/European Society of Cardiology guidelines proposed the inclusion of elevated resting heart rate when evaluating the cardiovascular risk profile of a patient. Hence, as an easily measurable and modifiable clinical parameter, resting heart rate should receive the recognition it deserves and be taken more seriously by clinicians and patients, as it may constitute a significant threat towards unhealthy life.

MedicalResearch.com What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: Public health initiatives that are designed for slowing the resting heart rate (e.g., physical activity) may serve as a useful adjunct for offsetting the burden of chronic disease, especially in the burgeoning population of older persons. Though clearly, additional studies are needed to test this notion.

Citation:

Elevations in time-varying resting heart rate predict subsequent all-cause mortality in older adult
Bríain ó Hartaigh, Heather G Allore, Mark Trentalange, Gail McAvay, Stefan Pilz, John A Dodson, and Thomas M Gill

European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 2047487313519932, first published on January 20, 2014 doi:10.1177/2047487313519932

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