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Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2011 Jun;18(3):488-97. doi: 10.1177/1741826710389365. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Resting heart rate, mortality and future coronary heart disease in the elderly: the 3C Study.

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INSERM U970, Paris V University, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center (PARCC), Paris, France.



To investigate the association between resting heart rate (RHR) and mortality and incident coronary heart disease (CHD) in the elderly.


Data derived from the Three-City Study, a French multicentre prospective study including 9294 community-dwelling elderly subjects aged ≥65 years at baseline examination between 1999 and 2001. The study population comprised 7147 participants (61% women) who were free of a pacemaker or any cardiac arrhythmias at baseline. RHR was measured twice at baseline in a seated position using an electronic tensiometer. Participants were then followed up bi-annually for vascular morbidity and mortality over 6 years. CHD events and cardiovascular death were adjudicated by an independent expert committee.


After 6 years of follow-up, 615 subjects died including 17.9% from cardiovascular causes. Subjects from the top quintile of RHR (>79 bpm) had respectively a 74% (95% CI, 1.3-2.3), a 87% (95% CI: 0.98-3.6, p = 0.06) and a 72% (95% CI, 1.3-2.3) increased risk of total, cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular mortality compared to those from the lowest quintile (<62 bpm), after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors and beta-blocker (BB) use in a Cox regression analysis. Associations with total mortality were consistent according to age, gender, BB use, diabetes and hypertension status (all p values for interaction >0.10). Conversely, RHR was not predictive of incident CHD (n = 228 events; top vs lowest quintile: HR: 1.0; 95% CI: 0.6-1.5).


RHR is an independent risk marker of mortality but not of incident CHD events in community-dwelling elderly. Its routine measurement may help identify those who are at increased risk of mortality in the short term.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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