HealthDay News — High resting heart rates seem to be predictive of increased risk for overall and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and shorter survival times, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

To examine the utility of resting heart rate as a predictor of overall and CVD mortality, investigators conducted a prospective study involving 3,316 Caucasian patients who participated in the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health study and underwent coronary angiography between 2001 to 2011.

The researchers found that patients with a resting heart rate of 84 or more beats per minute had a 1.2 and 1.4 year reduction in their survival time for overall and CVD mortality, respectively. After adjustment for various confounders, these patients had a significantly increased risk of overall and CVD mortality (hazard ratios, 1.39 and 1.38, respectively).

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“In the present study, heart rate at rest, a familiar and easily accessible clinical parameter, was found to be an independent risk predictor for total and CVD mortality,” the authors write. “Although these findings apply to patients at intermediate to high cardiovascular risk, they are nonetheless consistent with published data from a number of epidemiologic studies in general populations.”

One author is employed by Synlab Services GmbH.