Resting heart rate and cause-specific death in a 16.5-year cohort study of the Japanese general population

Am Heart J. 2004 Jun;147(6):1024-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2003.12.020.


Background: Several prospective studies have reported resting heart rate (HR) to be a risk factor for certain cause-specific death, together with sex- or age-specific differences in the effects of HR on death. However, there have been few prospective data from non-Western populations.

Methods: Cohort study, over 16.5 years to date of death or end of follow-up (November 15, 1998) involving 8800 men and women > or =30 years of age randomly selected throughout Japan, who participated in the National Survey on Circulatory Disorders in 1980. Resting HR was determined from 3 consecutive intervals between R waves on the 12-lead electrocardiogram.

Results: For middle-aged men (30 to 59 years of age), in the highest quartile of HR, there was a significant positive association with cardiovascular (RR, 2.55; 95% CI, 1.22 to 5.31) and all-cause death (RR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.06 to 2.00). For middle-aged women, in the highest quartile, there was a significant positive association with noncancer, noncardiovascular (RR, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.04 to 5.59), and all-cause death (RR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.26 to 3.01). Resting HR also showed a significant positive association with cardiac events but not to stroke. These relations were not evident for elderly subjects (> or =60 years of age). Results were not affected when deaths within the first 5 years of follow-up were excluded, except for noncancer, noncardiovascular death.

Conclusions: High resting HR is an independent predictor of long-term death in the Japanese general population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cause of Death*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Digestive System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Random Allocation
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / epidemiology