A vast study concluded that a higher heart rate hints at risk of premature death and cautions people to be wary of their heart beats per minute even when resting.
Researchers at the University of Shangdong, in China, have drawn the conclusion after reviewing and analyzing 46 other studies that collectively saw to over 2 million patients. Their goal was to determine the link between high resting heart rate and mortalities for both all-cause deaths as well as the regular cardiovascular problems.
The meta-analysis included over 1,200,000 people, among which there were over 78,000 all-cause deaths, and over 840,000 patients, among which over 25,000 perished due to heart disease. It’s one of the major health concerns of our population. In the United States, for example, it’s the lead cause of mortality, blamed for 1 in 4 deaths of American adults.
The team of researchers found that the resting heart rate might be a good clue to indicate future problems. This may prompt the patient to making modifications in their lifestyle to assure their good health throughout the years.
The higher the heart rate, the greater the risk
For an average adult, the normal resting heart rate should be between 60 to 100 beats per minute. According to the researchers, the lower it is, the more it indicated cardiovascular fitness because your heart works much more efficiently. That is why regular runners or those who often exercise have healthier hearts, as they have trained it better.
Researchers found that for every 10 extra beats per minute, the risk for an all-cause death is increased by 9%, while the chances of dying from cardiovascular problems is increased by 8%. The faster it beats, the more it may indicate future problems.
As such, if one’s heart beats around 80 times per minute, they have an increased risk of 45% of dying from any cause. If it’s at the minimum average of most adults, which is 60 beats per minute, the risk stands at 21%. Their conclusion was that the higher the resting heartbeat, the greater chances of premature death.
According to co-author of the study, Dr. Dongfeng Zhang, even though they haven’t established a cause-and-effect relationship between higher resting heart rate and death, it’s “a marker of poor health status”. There is an association between the extra beats and higher chances of seeing an early death.
They also admitted that their results did have a few limitations, such as the fact that not all patients had their heart rates measured at the same time during the day. Determining the number at night would have provided for the most accurate results. Regardless, they underlined the need for people to keep a close watch on their resting heart rate. It may point to future problems that could be prevented.
For example, cardiovascular exercises help keep the heart healthy and beating within normal limits. A brisk walk, jogging, or biking are excellent options, along with carefully managing stress levels.
Image source: ptacademy.edu.au