Background and aim: Epidemiological studies have reported increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and all-cause mortality with greater resting heart rate, however, the evidence is not consistent. Differences by gender, adjustment for confounding factors, as well as the potential impact of subclinical disease are not clear. A previous meta-analysis missed a large number of studies, and data for atrial fibrillation have not been summarized before. We therefore aimed to clarify these associations in a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies.
Methods and results: PubMed and Embase were searched up to 29 March 2017. Summary RRs and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random effects models. Eighty seven studies were included. The summary RR per 10 beats per minute increase in resting heart rate was 1.07 (95% CI: 1.05-1.10, I2 = 61.9%, n = 31) for coronary heart disease, 1.09 (95% CI: 1.00-1.18, I2 = 62.3%, n = 5) for sudden cardiac death, 1.18 (95% CI: 1.10-1.27, I2 = 74.5%, n = 8) for heart failure, 0.97 (95% CI: 0.92-1.02, I2 = 91.4%, n = 9) for atrial fibrillation, 1.06 (95% CI: 1.02-1.10, I2 = 59.5%, n = 16) for total stroke, 1.15 (95% CI: 1.11-1.18, I2 = 84.3%, n = 35) for cardiovascular disease, 1.14 (95% CI: 1.06-1.23, I2 = 90.2%, n = 12) for total cancer, and 1.17 (95% CI: 1.14-1.19, I2 = 94.0%, n = 48) for all-cause mortality. There was a positive dose-response relationship for all outcomes except for atrial fibrillation for which there was a J-shaped association.
Conclusion: This meta-analysis found an increased risk of coronary heart disease, sudden cardiac death, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality with greater resting heart rate.
Keywords: All-cause mortality; Atrial fibrillation; Cancer; Cardiovascular disease; Coronary heart disease; Heart failure; Stroke; Sudden cardiac death.
Copyright © 2017 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.