Resting Heart Rate Can Predict Heart Attack in Women


Women often have different kinds of heart attacks than men do, a fact which has only been well researched in the past decade or so. For example, women are more likely to die from a spasms of heart and the blood vessels leading to the heart, and are more likely to complain of fatigue and sleep disturbances in the weeks and months leading up to a heart attack.

Researchers mining data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study found that a woman’s resting heart rate may be a good indicator of her risk for a heart attack. Using information collected from 129,135 postmenopausal women over a period of nearly eight years, it was found that those with a higher resting heart rate (more than 76 beats per minute) were significantly more likely to have a heart attack than those women with the lowest resting heart rate (less than 62 beats a minute). This risk factor was particularly strong for women between the ages of 50 and 64, less so for women over the age of 65.

Some of the factors that can raise your resting heart rate include smoking, excess alcohol, diabetes, obesity, stress, insomnia, high blood pressure and many prescription drugs. In general, the better your physical shape, the lower your resting heart rate. Exercise is by far the best way to reduce your resting heart rate, but stress management techniques such as meditation come in second.

You can easily measure your own resting heart rate by counting the number of times that your heart beats in one minute (while at rest of course). You can measure this best in yourself by feeling your pulse.

Resting Heart Rate Can Predict Heart Attacks In Women, British Medical Journal, February 5, 2009.

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