Objective To explore the possibility that increased resting heart rate is associated with a microinflammatory response. Such an association could explain, at least in part, the recently described worse cardiovascular prognosis in individuals with increased heart rate.
Methods We analyzed the concentration of fibrinogen and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) as well as the absolute number of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in a cohort of 4,553 apparently healthy men and those with atherothrombotic risk factors.
Results Following adjustment for age and body mass index, lipid profile and cardiovascular risk factors, a significant (p<0.0005) difference was noted between individuals in the first quintile of heart rate (<58 beats/minute) and the fifth one (>79 beats/minute) regarding all the above mentioned inflammatory biomarkers, the respective mean values being 7.38 and 8.11 µmol/L, 1.12 and 1.61 mg/L1 and 4.23 and 4.74 x109/L.
Conclusions Resting heart rate is associated with a microinflammatory response in apparently healthy men and those with atherothrombotic risk factors. Sympathetic activation might be a common denominator that explains such an association. If confirmed in additional studies, this association might be a relevant target for therapeutic manipulations.
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