Your resting heart rate is an indicator of your mortality risk.
The study tracked 798 men born in 1943 and living in Sweden.
In 1993, the participants completed a questionnaire on their lifestyle and health and underwent a medical exam that included measuring their resting heart rate.
The researchers divided the participants into four categories of a resting heart rate.
- 55 or fewer bpm
- 56 bpm to 65 bpm
- 66 bpm to 75 bpm
- Greater than 75 bpm
In 2003 and 2014, for those who were still alive and willing to continue, their resting heart rate was measured again.
During the 21 years (1993-2014), approximately 15% of the original participants died before 2014, which would have been their 71st birthday.
During that same time, 30% developed cardiovascular disease.
Here’s What The Study Found
Men having a resting heart rate of 75 beats per minute had twice the risk of dying early of those with a resting heartbeat of 55 even though a heartbeat of 75 is within what’s considered the normal range of 50 to 100 beats per minute.
More so, their risk of early death increased by 3% and their risk of heart disease by 2% for every additional heartbeat per minute.
So if their heart rate was 80 instead of 75, their risk of death jumped by 15% and the risk of heart disease by 10%.
Men, as well as Doctors, may want to keep an eye on the resting heartbeat because it may be an indicator of other heart risk factors and not just cardiovascular disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
People with an elevated resting heart rate can improve it through proper diet (Mediterranean diet, plant-based diet), aerobic exercise, reducing stress and eliminating destructive habits such as smoking and alcohol.