A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness.
“The association of resting heart rate with risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality is independent of traditional risk factors of cardiovascular disease, suggesting that resting heart rate is a predictor of mortality in the general population,” said lead author Dongfeng Zhang from Qingdao University medical college, Shandong, China.
The researchers found that people with a resting heart rate of more than 80 beats/minute had a 45 percent higher risk of death from any cause than those with a resting heart rate of 60-80 beats/minute.
The team assessed 46 studies involving 1,246,203 patients and 78,349 deaths from all causes, and 848,320 patients and 25,800 deaths from heart disease.
“Results from this meta-analysis suggest the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality increased by nine percent for every 10 beats/minute increment of resting heart rate,” Zhang said.
“The risk of all-cause mortality increased significantly with increasing resting heart rate, but a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular mortality was observed at 90 beats/minute,” the researcher added.
The findings were similar for people with cardiovascular risk factors.
The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.