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We sought to evaluate the association of prolonged elevated heart rate (peHR) with survival in acutely ill patients.We used a large observational intensive care unit (ICU) database (Multiparameter Intelligent Monitoring in Intensive Care III [MIMIC-III]), where frequent heart rate measurements were available. The peHR was defined as a heart rate >100 beats/min in 11 of 12 consecutive hours. The outcome was survival status at 90 days. We collected heart rates, disease severity (simplified acute physiology scores [SAPS II]), comorbidities (Charlson scores), and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) diagnosis information in 31 513 patients from the MIMIC-III ICU database. Propensity score (PS) methods followed by inverse probability weighting based on the PS was used to balance the 2 groups (the presence/absence of peHR). Multivariable weighted logistic regression was used to assess for association of peHR with the outcome survival at 90 days adjusting for additional covariates.The mean age was 64 years, and the most frequent main disease category was circulatory disease (41%). The mean SAPS II score was 35, and the mean Charlson comorbidity score was 2.3. Overall survival of the cohort at 90 days was 82%. Adjusted logistic regression showed a significantly increased risk of death within 90 days in patients with an episode of peHR (P < .001; odds ratio for death 1.79; confidence interval, 1.69-1.88). This finding was independent of median heart rate.We found a significant association of peHR with decreased survival in a large and heterogenous cohort of ICU patients.