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Last Updated: 2001-08-02 9:56:12 EDT (Reuters Health)
WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – Heart rate appears to be a strong independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality, noncardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality in middle-aged men, according to the results of a population-based study by Italian researchers.
Dr. Simona Giampaoli, from the Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, and colleagues from the MATISS Project, collected data on 2533 men, 40 to 69 years of age living in central Italy. The researchers followed these men from 4 to 13 years for a total of 24,457 person-years, according to their report in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health: Journal of the American Public Health Association.
During the follow-up period, there were 393 deaths. Of these deaths, Dr. Giampaoli's group reports, 38% were due to cardiovascular diseases, 39% were from cancer, 5% from violence and 14% from other causes. For the remaining 4%, the cause of death was unknown.
When Dr. Giampaoli's team calculated multivariate hazard ratios for each heart rate increment of 20 beats per minute, they found that for all-cause mortality the hazard ratio was 1.52, for cardiovascular disease mortality it was 1.63 and for noncardiovascular mortality the hazard ratio was 1.47.
In addition, compared with men whose heart rate was <60 beats per minute, men with heart rates of 90 beats per minute or more were at an increased risk for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio 2.67), cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio 2.54) and for noncardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio 2.87).
Dr. Giampaoli and colleagues conclude that heart rate "represents one of the most important independent predictors of cardiovascular, noncardiovascular, and overall mortality in that, other risk factors being equal, deaths risks increase about 50% for each 20-beat-per-minute increment, and relative risks between extreme heart rate levels are more than 2-fold.
Am J Public Health 2001;91:1258-1263.
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