Resting Heart Rate Can Predict Coronary Events in Women


A new study found that a woman’s resting heart rate can be used as a factor in predicting coronary events.

A woman’s resting heart rate can be used as a factor in predicting coronary events, a new study found. Over 129,000 postmenopausal women with no history of heart problems were examined for about eight years. During the course of the study, close to 2,300 coronary events—MIs or coronary deaths—were recorded, and almost 1,900 women died.

Women with the highest heart rate while at rest—more than 76 beats per minute—were much more likely to suffer a heart attack or die from a coronary incident than women with the lowest resting heart rate—62 beats per minute.

Though it was previously known that coronary incidents could be gauged by a man’s resting pulse, no such study had been done in women.

Many factors that are generally associated with coronary events did not play a role in the frequency of heart attacks or death. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and consumption of alcohol did not impact the likelihood of an incident.

Likewise, no correlation was found between physical activity and diabetes and the likelihood of heart attack or death. Researchers did not find a difference between white and minority women, either, but the chance of an event was more likely in women 50-64 years old than those 65 or older.

No relationship between resting heart rate and likelihood of stroke was seen.

The authors of the study say that resting heart rate is a “simple” and “inexpensive” way to predict heart attacks and death in postmenopausal women. They add that although the strength of this tie is not as telling as the relationship between cardiac events and cigarette smoking and diabetes, it still could be significant enough to be clinically relevant.

specialty: hospital medicine

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