Objective and background: To explore the possibility that increased resting heart rate (HR) 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 HR.
Methods: Concentrations of fibrinogen and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, as well as the absolute number of polymorphonuclear leucocytes, were analysed in a cohort of 4553 apparently healthy men and in those with atherothrombotic risk factors.
Results: Following adjustment for age and body mass index, lipid profile and cardiovascular risk factors, a significant (p<0.001) difference was noted between individuals in the first quintile of HR (⩽58 beats/min) and those in the fifth quintile (⩾79 beats/min) 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/l, and 4.23 and 4.74×109/l.
Conclusions: Resting HR is associated with a microinflammatory response in apparently healthy men and in those with atherothrombotic risk factors. Sympathetic activation might be a common factor explaining such an association. If confirmed in additional studies, this association might be a relevant target for therapeutic manipulations.
- ACE, angiotensin converting enzyme
- ARB, angiotensin II receptor blockers
- BMI, body mass index
- HDL, high density lipoprotein
- HR, heart rate
- hs-CRP, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein
- LDL, low density lipoprotein
- TAMCIS, Tel Aviv Medical Center Inflammation Survey
- WBCC, white blood cell count
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