SHANDONG, China, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Results of a large study in China showed that a higher resting heart rate increased the risk of death from all causes.
"The available evidence does not fully establish resting heart rate as a risk factor," researchers wrote in the new study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. "But there is no doubt that elevated resting heart rate serves as a marker of poor health status."
Previous research has linked resting heart rate to noncardiovascular mortality. But the research has overall been inconsistent when it comes to resting heart rate, researchers wrote.
The researchers reviewed 46 studies as part of a meta-analysis involving 1,246,203 people and 78,349 deaths for all-cause mortality, and 848,320 patients and 25,800 deaths for cardiovascular mortality.
The data showed for a 10-beats-per-minute increase in the resting heart rate, the risk of death from all causes increased by 9 percent, and the risk of death from cardiovascular disease went up by 8 percent.
Researchers also found that people with a resting heart rate of more than 80 beats per minute had a 45 percent higher risk of all-cause death than people whose resting heart rate was 60 to 80 beats per minute, whose risk increased by 21 percent.
"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," the researchers wrote.
"Our results highlight that people should pay more attention to their resting heart rate for their health, and also indicate the potential importance of physical activity to lower resting heart rate."