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Heart rate not an independent CVD risk factor

Heart rate in middle age may be a marker of cardiovascular disease but it is not an independent risk factor, a large Norwegian study concludes.

The 14-year study included 180,353 men and 199,490 women aged 40 to 45 years without cardiovascular history or diabetes.

There was a positive association between heart rate and mortality, as well as with cardiovascular death.

But after adjusting for common risk factors, raised risks with a heart rate of 95 bpm, compared with one of less than 65 bpm, largely disappeared.

The increase in cardiovascular risk fell from 4.8-fold to 1.5-fold in men and vanished entirely in women.

European Heart Journal 2008 early online publication

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