A recent study (1) suggests that the answer is yes.
Researchers tracked 798 men born in 1943 in Göteborg, Sweden. The team divided the study participants by resting heart rate: 55 or fewer; 56 bpm to 65; 66 bpm to 75; and more than 75 beats per minute.
Here’s what the scientists discovered:
Men in their 50s with a resting pulse of 75 bpm or higher have double the risk of dying from heart disease within 11 years (compared with those with a resting rate of 55 or lower).
Moreover, every beat per minute increase between ages 50 and 60 boosts the risk of death by 3 percent over the next 11 years. Of course, our genetics influence our heart rates, but staying active and healthy may pay big dividends for you down the road.
We may want to re-think a resting heart rate of 50 to 100 beats per minute as normal, even as we recognize that those with rates above 75 are more likely to be smokers, more stressed, and less physically active.
Even as we recognize that association is not causation, your good habits may lower your heart rate (which in turn may improve your health outcomes). I hope the researchers move beyond men to look at women and different age groups.
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The information provided here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, nor is it a substitute for medical advice.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.