Background: Resting heart rate has frequently been shown to be a predictor of coronary heart disease mortality. Elevated heart rate could also be a marker for the presence of other risk factors, which have not been taken into consideration in previous studies.
Objective: To evaluate the effect of resting heart rate on the risk of all-cause cardiovascular and cancer mortality, taking into consideration haematological variables.
Method: The association between resting heart rate and mortality was assessed applying Cox's proportional hazard models to data obtained in an 8 year follow-up of 3527 Israeli male industrial employees. During this period 135 deaths were recorded, 57 from cardiovascular disease and 45 from cancer. Resting heart rate was assessed at entry; potential confounding demographic, anthropometric and socioeconomic variables, haematological data, serum lipid levels and health-related habits were accounted for.
Results: We found that the relative risk of all-cause mortality increased with increasing resting heart rate, workers with resting heart rate >90 beats. min(-1)had an adjusted relative risk of 2.23 (95% CI 1.4-3.6) compared with those with a heart rate <70 beats. min(-1). A similar result was achieved for cardiovascular disease mortality (adjusted relative risk 2.02, 95% CI 1.1-4.0). Cancer mortality was not associated with resting heart rate.
Conclusion: This study found that resting heart rate is associated with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality after controlling (in various statistical models) for platelet counts, haemoglobin concentration, white blood cell counts, total protein, and other recognized risk factors.
Copyright 2000 The European Society of Cardiology.