The resting heart rate of an individual can reveal a lot about their longevity. While a normal resting heart rate ranges from 50 to 100 beats per minute, those with heart rates on the higher end of the range may be more likely to suffer from heart conditions that could reduce their lifespans.
What Factors Effect Resting Heart Rate?
Multiple factors can cause a person’s resting heart rate to be elevated. Cardio exercise is the primary way to lower a high resting heart rate, as it works the heart muscle and improves its pumping ability. The following are some factors that can affect a person’s resting heart rate.
- Warmer temperatures can make a person’s heart rate go up.
- High levels of stress will keep a person’s resting heart rate elevated.
- Obesity also plays a role in increased resting heart rate.
- Certain medications may cause an increased resting heart rate.
- Both caffeine and nicotine can cause spikes in a person’s resting heart rate.
What Does Resting Heart Rate Reveal About Longevity?
In a study conducted in Sweden, older men who had a resting heart rate of 75 bpm or higher had a doubled risk of early death, even though their heart rates were within the normal range. The study also concluded every additional beat above the normal range increased a person’s chances of early death by as much as 3% on average.
An increased resting heart rate is not necessarily a predictor of early death on its own, though many people with higher ranges of resting heart rates are often overweight, smokers, and have high blood pressure. These factors alone place them at a greater risk of premature death.
Doctors Must Carefully Monitor Patients’ Heart Rates
According to the American Heart Association, rises in heart rate could mean trouble for a person’s heart function. It is important physicians monitor their patients for heart rate issues and investigate sudden and consistent increases.
Those who have a high resting heart rate should consider making lifestyle changes to lower their risks. Exercise and cutting back on red meat can both improve cardiac function. It will take time, but a person’s heart rate can begin to reduce with positive lifestyle changes.