Objectives: This study sought to verify the independent role of heart rate in the prediction of all-cause, cardiovascular, and noncardiovascular mortality in a low-risk male population.
Methods: In an Italian population-based observational study, heart rate was measured in 2533 men, aged 40 to 69 years, between 1984 and 1993. Data on cardiovascular risk factors were collected according to standardized procedures. Vital status was updated to December 1997.
Results: Of 2533 men followed up (representing 24,457 person-years), 393 men died. Age-adjusted death rates for 5 heart rate levels showed increasing trends. The adjusted hazard rate ratios for each heart rate increment were 1.52 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.29, 1.78) for all-cause mortality, 1.63 (95% CI = 1.26, 2.10) for cardiovascular mortality, and 1.47 (95% CI = 1.19, 1.80) for noncardiovascular mortality. Relative risks between extreme levels were more than 2-fold for all endpoints considered.
Conclusions: Heart rate is an independent predictor of cardiovascular, noncardiovascular, and total mortality in this Italian middle-aged male population.