Resting heart rate and the risk of hypertension and heart failure: a dose–response meta-analysis of prospective studies

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Studies on the relationship of resting heart rate to the risks of hypertension and heart failure have been inconsistent, and the question as to whether there is a linear association between them is unanswered.


To evaluate this possible relationship, we carried out a dose–response meta-analysis of studies that looked at risks associated with resting heart rate and hypertension or heart failure.


We searched PubMed, Embase, CNKI and WanFang databases for articles published before 15 June 2017. A random-effect model was used to pool relative risks and 95% confidence intervals. Restricted cubic spline analysis was used to model the resting heart rate-hypertension and heart failure risk association.


We identified 13 and 17 cohort studies for hypertension and heart failure, respectively. The risk for each disease, respectively, increased by 11% relative risk: 1.11 (95% confidence interval: 1.07–1.15) and 19% relative risk: 1.19 (95% confidence interval: 1.13–1.25) for each 10 beats-per-minute increment in resting heart rate. The relationship between resting heart rate and hypertension or heart failure was consistent in most subgroup analyses except for gender subgroups, with no significant association observed in the women subgroup. The results provide no evidence of a nonlinear association of elevated resting heart rate with hypertension and heart failure risk.


Resting heart rate shows a linear positive association with the incidence of hypertension and heart failure.

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