Higher Heart Rate a Risk over Time

NEW YORK, Aug. 16 (UPI) — A raised heart rate over time may signal a patient needs more evaluation, a U.S. doctor suggests

Dr. Peter Okin of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center says an elevated resting heart rate developing or persisting over years is worrisome, signifying the patient needs further evaluation to determine the cause.

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, finds those with a higher heart rate over time had a 55 percent greater risk of cardiovascular death and a 79 percent greater risk of death from all causes.

“It is easy and inexpensive to determine heart rate, and in fact is done routinely in a doctor’s office,” Okin, the lead investigator, said in a statement.

“But this study suggests that physicians need to track the pattern over a number of years, not just consider single readings.”

Okin and colleagues tracked 9,190 high-blood pressure patients for five years. The study differentiated between patients with a persistent heartbeat rate of 84 beats per minute and above and those with a rate less than 84 beats. A healthy rate is between 60 and 80 beats per minute.

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