Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?
Prof. Zhang: Higher heart rate has emerged as a cardiovascular risk factor and is associated with higher mortality rate. However the mechanistic link between heart rate and mortality outcome in population has been missing. The main findings of the present study in a relatively large population are two-fold: Firstly, there is a strong and positive association between resting heart rate and metabolic syndrome, which is defined when an adult has 3 of the following: obesity (waist circumference ≥90 cm for men or ≥80 for women); hypertriglyceridemia (triglycerides ≥1.7 mmol/L); low plasma level of high-density lipoprotein <1.03 mmol/L for men or <1.30 mmol/L for women); hypertension (systolic blood pressure/ diastolic blood pressure≥130/85 mmHg or current use of antihypertensive medications); hyperglycemia (fast blood glucose ≥5.6 mmol/L or previously diagnosed type 2 diabetes or current use of hypoglycaemic agents or insulin). Secondly and more importantly, those without metabolic syndrome but with higher resting heart rate will have greater risk in developing metabolic syndrome in the near future. As such, the findings from both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies provide evidence that resting heart rate is an independent risk factor for existing metabolic syndrome and a powerful predictor for its future incidence. (more…)