Lege Artis Medicinae

[ELEVATED RESTING HEART RATE AND THE RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR MORTALITY]

BORBOLA József

NOVEMBER 30, 2006

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(01 klsz)

[In ancient times medical practitioners already knew that heart rate is a measure of the general condition of the soul and body. Worldwide epidemiologic studies in the past decades indicated that decreased resting heart rate, a parameter that can be simply measured, has a favourable direct effect on cardiovascular risk. This consistent beneficial risk-reducing effect can be clearly shown in the asymptomatic general population as well as in patients with hypertension, stable coronary artery disease, acute myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure irrespective of gender, age or ethnic origin. In the asymptomatic general population this beneficial effect is mainly due to reduced early coronary artery disease events and diminished risk of sudden cardiac death. Population studies have clearly shown that decreasing resting heart rate - either by physical exercise or medical treatment - improves cardiovascular survival, and decreases the overall and cardiovascular mortality. It seems reasonable to conclude that in modern pharmacotherapy of cardiovascular disease the use of selective heart rate lowering drugs that directly act on the pacemaker activity of the sinus node (If-channel blockers) are warranted.]

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