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Brito Díaz B, Alemán Sánchez JJ, Cabrera de León A

[Resting heart rate and cardiovascular disease].

Med Clin (Barc). 2014 Jul;143(1):34-8, PMID: 23937816

Heart rate reflects autonomic nervous system activity. Numerous studies have demonstrated that an increased heart rate at rest is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality as an independent risk factor. It has been shown a link between cardiac autonomic balance and inflammation. Thus, an elevated heart rate produces a micro-inflammatory response and is involved in the pathogenesis of endothelial dysfunction. In turn, decrease in heart rate produces benefits in congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, obesity, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and atherosclerosis. Alteration of other heart rate-related parameters, such as their variability and recovery after exercise, is associated with risk of cardiovascular events. Drugs reducing the heart rate (beta-blockers, calcium antagonists and inhibitors of If channels) have the potential to reduce cardiovascular events. Although not recommended in healthy subjects, interventions for reducing heart rate constitute a reasonable therapeutic goal in certain pathologies.


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