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Tachycardia And Risk Of Heart Attack Or Heart Disease


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I wanted to share this article that seems to suggest a link between a high resting heart rate and risk for heart attack/heart disease. This is a link to an article about the study. In my few minutes attempting to find the study online I was unsuccessful. Maybe one of the great researchers out there will be able to find a copy of the article? :blink: I am interested in more of the details and how this may or may not pertain to POTS etc. Just thought I would share! :blink:


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I saw something kinda like this while trying to find info on normal resting heart rate.

Mine can be anywhere from low 60's to 100's. :blink: Lately, when I check my heartrate sitting down, it seems to go back and forth. I don't know how much anxiety has to do with it in my case, though.


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Here's a link to the article:


It's a very long link--you'll have to copy all of the lines and paste them in your browser to use it. You can also find the article by going to www.bmj.com (website for the British Medical Journal) and typing in the search box: resting heart rate The first article returned by the search is the right one. Click on "full text" or "pdf" to the right of the entry and you should get the full article. A lot of journals charge for access, but this particular article is open to the public right now. Hurray!

I skimmed the article and I'm not sure it's particularly helpful to POTS patients or others on this board. One thing to note is that the study included only post-menopausal women; many POTS patients are much younger, and it's hard to know if the results would apply to a younger group--or one that clearly has other health problems. The study did find that a high resting heart rate correlates with heart attacks, even after controlling for other factors (like diabetes and smoking). But that's only a correlation. I do empirical research in another field (not medicine) and one of the things we always stress is that correlation doesn't mean causation--I'm sure others have noted that here before. Often, there is a third factor that causes both events. One common example is that shark attacks are correlated with ice cream sales--but that's because both go up in the summer, not because ice cream causes the sharks to come out!

The authors of this study also note at the very end of the article that the relationship between resting heart rate and heart attacks is smaller than the relationship between cigarette smoking or diabetes and heart attacks. In other words, even if a high resting heart rate does contribute to heart attacks, the relationship is smaller than many of the other commonly reported risk factors like smoking.

Anyway, that's what I got out of this article! Debby

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Yes, I found the same link ... Resting Heart Rate ... Let me know if you have any trouble and I'll send you the PDF.

Here are some notes from professional reviews/comments on the article.

This relation was more pronounced in younger postmenopausal women than in older women. The authors suggest that women with higher resting heart rates be targeted for more-aggressive management of cardiovascular risk factors.

I should think this would be good for us ... since we are already in a target group of people who already have had cardio workups (not to mention countless trips to the ER :) )

You can read other "rapid responses" at this link: Responses to Study ...

There's a lot of speculation out there that hormones play a factor in this for post-menapausal women and even thyroid disease is mentioned. However I think POTS presents a unique group of circumstances ... and I'm not sure that our "resting" heart rate really means the same thing as other non-orthostatically-challenged folks. Indeed if everyone is in agreement that pulse is a good "low tech" indicator ... maybe we'll see a drop in heart rate monitors!


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This study measured the resting heart rate after sitting quietly in a chair for 5 minutes. I suspect that if most of us sat quietly we would have normal resting heart rates. In fact I know my HR actually tends to run a bit too slow at times.

Resting heart rate is sometimes used as a predictor of fitness levels. My more expensive polar heart monitor actually gives you an estimated VO2 max based purely on resting heart rate (VO2 max is a measure of cardiovascular fitness).

Maybe what the study says is that post-menopausal women who are fit are less likely to have a heart attack than those that are unfit? (Which I guess makes sense as the doctors are always encouraging everyone to exercise).

There is really no way of getting any information about the risk of heart attack in people with dysautonomia from this study. However if my interpretation is correct then exercising and keeping as fit as we can will reduce the risk of us having a heart attack. It also says that making sure that diabetes and high cholesterol are properly controlled has more effect on the risk of heart attack. I reckon keeping up with the healthy diet and exercise is the best we can do to both minimize symptoms of dysautonomia and reduce our risk of heart disease.

Anyone for a healthy chicken salad and a stroll by the beach?


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