Resting heart rate in apparently healthy middle-aged men

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Resting heart rate (fcrest) was measured by a standardized technique in 2,014 men aged 40–59 years during a cardiovascular survey. All men were thought to be healthy prior to the survey examination. According to the survey findings, the material was subdivided into 5 clinical subgroups, according to survey findings of coronary heart disease (CHD), or suspect symptoms, or signs. Coronary angiography was performed in 105 subjects with particularly strong suspicions of CHD. Fcrest varied between 61–63 among the 5 groups (p>0.10). In 1832/2014 defined as “normals” the following findings were made:

  1. Mean fcrest 61 (SD 9.7), and almost identical values obtained by auscultation and from resting ECGs in the same persons.

  2. Linear drop in fcrest by age (−0.126 beats/year, p<0.001).

  3. Increase in fcrest with increasing systolic blood pressure.

Since there is no generally accepted technique for measuring fcrest it is suggested that the wide variation in fcrest reported in the literature at least in part may be due to differences in techniques.