Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New formula gives first accurate peak heart rate for women

Date:
June 29, 2010
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
A new gender-based formula based on a large study provides a more accurate estimate of the peak heart rate a healthy woman should attain during exercise. It also will more accurately predict the risk of heart-related death during a stress test. Researchers found women's normal peak rate is lower than men's.

Women who measure their peak heart rates for exercise will need to do some new math as will physicians giving stress tests to patients.

A new formula based on a large study from Northwestern Medicine provides a more accurate estimate of the peak heart rate a healthy woman should attain during exercise. It also will more accurately predict the risk of heart-related death during a stress test.

"Now we know for the first time what is normal for women, and it's a lower peak heart rate than for men," said Martha Gulati, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and preventive medicine and a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine. "Using the standard formula, we were more likely to tell women they had a worse prognosis than they actually did."

Gulati is the lead author of a study published June 28 in the journal Circulation.

"Women are not small men," Gulati added. "There is a gender difference in exercise capacity a woman can achieve. Different physiologic responses can occur. " Gulati was the first to define the normal exercise capacity or fitness level for women in a 2005 study.

The old formula -- 220 minus age -- used for almost four decades, is based on studies of men. The new formula for women, based on the new research, is 206 minus 88 percent of age.

At age 50, the original formula gives a peak rate of 170 beats per minute for men and women. The new women's formula gives a maximum heart rate of 162 beats for women. Many men and women use their peak heart rate multiplied by 65 to 85 percent to determine their upper heart rate when exercising.

"Before, many women couldn't meet their target heart rate," Gulati said. "Now, with the new formula, they are actually meeting their age-defined heart rate."

The new formula is trickier to calculate, Gulati acknowledged, but is easily determined with a calculator. She currently is working on an iPhone application for a quick calculation.

The new formula is based on a study of 5,437 healthy women ages 35 and older who participated in the St. James Women Take Heart Project, which began in the Chicago area in 1992.

With the new formula, physicians will more accurately determine if women are having a normal or abnormal response to exercise. "If it's abnormal, that's a marker for a higher risk of death," Gulati said. "Maybe we need to talk about whether you exercise enough and what we need to do to get it into the normal range."

"We need to keep studying women to get data applicable to women," Gulati said. "It's important to not get complacent that we have data on men and assume women must be the same. They're not."

Gulati's senior author on the study was Morton Arnsdorf, M.D., professor emeritus and associate vice chairman of medicine and former section chief of cardiology at the University of Chicago. Arnsdorf died in a motor vehicle accident in June.

"I feel fortunate to have been his student, have him take me under his wing and be my mentor," Gulati said. "He was an amazing mentor." The Women Take Heart Project study had been sitting dormant, and Arnsdorf encouraged her to open it to do more research, Gulati said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. The original article was written by Marla Paul. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Martha Gulati, Leslee J. Shaw, Ronald A. Thisted, Henry R. Black, C. Noel Bairey Merz, and Morton F. Arnsdorf. Heart Rate Response to Exercise Stress Testing in Asymptomatic Women. The St. James Women Take Heart Project. Circulation, 2010; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.939249

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "New formula gives first accurate peak heart rate for women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628170928.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2010, June 29). New formula gives first accurate peak heart rate for women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628170928.htm
Northwestern University. "New formula gives first accurate peak heart rate for women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628170928.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins