Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elevated heart rate over time linked to significant risk of death

Date:
August 13, 2010
Source:
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Summary:
An elevated resting heart rate that develops or persists during follow-up is associated with a significantly increased risk of death, whether from heart disease or other causes, researchers from the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center found studying outcomes in more than 9,000 patients.

An elevated resting heart rate that develops or persists during follow-up is associated with a significantly increased risk of death, whether from heart disease or other causes, researchers from the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center found studying outcomes in more than 9,000 patients.

The findings, published July 2 online in the European Heart Journal, suggest that tracking heart rate over time can provide a profoundly simple and important marker of health issues that could become lethal but which also might be prevented with diagnosis and treatment.

"It is easy and inexpensive to determine heart rate, and in fact is done routinely in a doctor's office. But this study suggests that physicians need to track the pattern over a number of years, not just consider single readings," says the study's lead investigator, Dr. Peter Okin, a noted cardiologist at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

"Based on this study, we believe that an elevated heart rate seen over a number of years is worrisome, signifying that these patients need further evaluation to see what might be causing the high heart rate," he says.

In their study, researchers discovered that development of a heart rate of 84 beats per minute or greater that either developed or persisted in patients during the study's average five-year time span was linked to a 55 percent greater risk of cardiovascular death and a 79 percent greater risk of death from all causes. Although the participants had hypertension, the scientists adjusted for this fact as well as for other cardiovascular risk factors. A healthy heart rate is between 60 and 80 beats per minute.

Even incremental increases in heart rate were associated with increased risk of death. For example, every extra 10 beats per minute higher than a normal resting pulse was associated with a 16 percent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 25 percent greater risk of all-cause death.

This is one of the few studies that has looked at changes in heart rate over time, says Dr. Okin. The notion is that because heart rates may increase or decrease over time in response to changes in a person's condition or response to a treatment, the predictive value of a single heart rate measurement is less valuable than measurements over time.

"Heart rates can change day to day and year to year," he says. "It's like having a higher body temperature one day that goes away the next. Something caused the fever, but it has resolved, perhaps with treatment. Heart rate is the same over a longer time span. If it goes up and remains elevated, some disorder is likely to blame."

For example, high heart rate, among other things, is a marker of increased sympathetic nervous system activity, which itself is linked to increased heart ischemia, and is also associated with promoting atherosclerosis and susceptibility to arrhythmia.

This study is a sub-analysis of the LIFE (Losartan Intervention For Endpoint) study, which has been completed. It enrolled 9,193 patients from Scandinavia and the United States to test two different treatments (losartan versus atenolol) for hypertension. Among other variables, heart rate was routinely measured in these patients.

In this study, researchers divided 9,190 patients into two groups -- those that had a persistent heartbeat rate of 84 or greater per minute, and those that had less. That figure was selected because other studies had suggested it was linked to mortality risk.

After a mean of almost five years, 814 patients (8.9%) died -- 438 (4.8%) of which from cardiovascular disease. After adjusting for possible effects of randomized treatment, and for every other risk factor (such as age, gender, race, diabetes, history of heart disease, and so on), the researchers found a strong association between persistent elevated heart rate and risk of death.

The patients died from a variety of causes, but considering all factors, "heart rate remains a significant predictor of increased mortality," Dr. Okin says. "In addition to high blood pressure, this study demonstrated that changing heart rate over time is a highly significant predictor of mortality."

To date, no medication has been approved in the United States that can reduce heart rate without side effects, although a drug (ivabradine) is being tested, he says. Exercise and diet have also been shown to lower heart rate.

The study's senior author is Dr. Richard B. Devereux, director of the adult echocardiography laboratory at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Additional co-authors include Drs. Sverre E. Kjeldsen of the University of Oslo, Norway, and the University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor; Stevo Julius of the University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor; Darcy A. Hille of Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pa.; Björn Dahlöf of Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Östra Göteborg, Sweden; and Jonathan M. Edelman of Merck & Co., Inc., North Wales, Pa..

The study was funded by Merck & Co., Inc. Weill Cornell Medical College, Dr. Peter Okin and Dr. Richard Devereux received grant support from Merck, and Dr. Devereux is a paid consultant to the company. In addition, Dr. Devereux has served as a consultant to Novartis and Sanofi-Aventis. For more information, patients may call (866) NYP-NEWS.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. M. Okin, S. E. Kjeldsen, S. Julius, D. A. Hille, B. Dahlof, J. M. Edelman, R. B. Devereux. All-cause and cardiovascular mortality in relation to changing heart rate during treatment of hypertensive patients with electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy. European Heart Journal, 2010; DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehq225

Cite This Page:

New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. "Elevated heart rate over time linked to significant risk of death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100812151640.htm>.
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. (2010, August 13). Elevated heart rate over time linked to significant risk of death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100812151640.htm
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. "Elevated heart rate over time linked to significant risk of death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100812151640.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) — Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
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