Resting heart rate is an important easily measured cardiovascular parameter and an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease and death. Based on the three Tromsø Study surveys conducted between 1986 and 2001 we demonstrated that individual changes in resting heart rate over time provide additional prognostic information and can be used for monitoring of cardiovascular risk, and therefore for prevention. We found that a substantial increase in resting heart rate or steadily elevated resting heart rate over a period of 15 years increased future risk of myocardial infarction and death in men compared to a steadily low resting heart rate. A substantial decrease in resting heart rate over time was beneficial in respect of atrial fibrillation risk in women.
Sharashova E, Wilsgaard T, Løchen ML, Mathiesen EB, Njølstad I, Brenn T. Resting heart rate trajectories and myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, ischaemic stroke and death in the general population: The Tromsø Study. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2017 May;24(7):748-759. doi: 10.1177/2047487316688983.
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