Resting heart rate in relation to blood pressure: results from the World Health Organization-Cardiovascular Disease and Alimentary Comparison study

Int J Cardiol. 2010 Nov 5;145(1):73-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2009.04.032. Epub 2009 May 17.


Background: Epidemiological studies have reported that increased heart rate (HR) is associated with cardiovascular mortality. We aimed in assessing the hypothesis that HR may influence the outcomes of cardiovascular disease via a pathway related to increases in blood pressure (BP).

Methods: Data from the World Health Organization-Cardiovascular Disease and Alimentary Comparison (CARDIAC) Study were analyzed to examine the association between resting HR and BP in a sample of 8541 adults aged 48-56 participating in the CARDIAC baseline surveys.

Results: Increased heart rates were significantly correlated with both systolic and diastolic BP (SBP and DBP) in men and women. The overall results (e.g. the pooled regression coefficients) suggest that an increase in each unit of heart rate (beat per minute) was associated with 0.27 mmHg increase in SBP, and 0.09 mmHg in DBP in the total study population sample, and 0.203 mmHg increase in SBP, and 0.252 mmHg increase in DBP in the sub-sample in which subjects with anti-hypertensive medication use were excluded in the analysis.

Conclusion: The study, by using a large population-based sample, indicates that increased resting heart rates are associated with increased blood pressure. The result supports the hypothesis that the influence of heart rates on cardiovascular mortality may be mediated by elevated blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Letter
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Digestive System / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / mortality
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rest / physiology*
  • World Health Organization*