Thursday, February 5, 2009
Heart Rate Is Predictor of Heart Disease in Women
Do you want a free way to predict heart attack in women? Check the resting heart rate.
The British Medical Journal (love those Brits!) has published data that shows the resting heart rate (also known as "pulse") is a good way to predict heart attack in women over age 50. Women with heart rates higher than 76 beats per minute at rest were more likely to have heart attack than women with pulse rates below 62. Race was not a variable, nor was diabetes so the heart rate was an independent risk factor. The heart rate was not a factor in stroke.
Resting heart rate is an indicator of autonomic nervous system tone. High sympathetic nervous system tone may be a marker of subclinical cardiovascular disease and it might affect other known risk factors like blood pressure, glucose metabolism or plasma lipids (cholesterol).
To check it out on yourself, sit quietly for 5-10 minutes or check it before you get up in the morning. Take your pulse for 30 seconds and then multiply that number by 2. That is your resting heart rate.
Other known risk factors for heart attack are young family history, high blood lipids, diabetes, hypertension, obesity (high body mass index), smoking and sedentary lifestyle.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 9:44 PM