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Elevated Resting Heart Rate Linked to Death

Posted May 12 2013 10:11pm
Posted on May 9, 2013, 6 a.m. in Men's Health Cardio-Vascular

A person’s resting heart rate – calculated as the number of heart beats per minute – is determined by an individual's level of physical fitness, circulating hormones, and the autonomic nervous system, with a rate at rest of between 60 and 100 beats per minute considered as normal.  Researchers involved in the Copenhagen Male Study, established in 1970-71 to monitor the cardiovascular health of middle aged men at 14 large companies in Copenhagen, tracked the health of about 3,000 male subjects for 16 years.  The researchers found that a high resting heart rate was associated with lower levels of physical fitness, higher blood pressure and weight, and higher levels of circulating blood fats. Importantly, the data showed that the higher the resting heart rate, the higher was the risk of death, irrespective of fitness level.  After adjusting for confounding factors, a resting heart rate of between 51 and 80 beats per minute was associated with a 40 to 50% increased risk of death, while one between 81 and 90 beats per minute doubled the risk, compared with those with the lowest rate. A resting heart rate above 90 beats per minute tripled the risk. On the basis of their findings, the study authors calculated that every 10 to 22 additional beats per minute in resting heart rate increased the risk of death by 16%, overall.

“High heart rate is risk factor for death, not just a sign of poor fitness, study indicates.”  BMJ 2013;346:f2429, 16 April 2013.

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Tip #161 - Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is made from the Camellia sinesis plant, where the leaves and stems are not aged and undergo very little processing. Containing less caffeine than black tea, green tea is most noted for an antioxidant compound known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to inhibit an anti-apoptotic protein involved In some types of cancer. Green tea may have a future interventive role in combating a number of diseases:

• Heart Disease: Researchers from Athens Medical School (Greece) studied 14 healthy men and women (average age 30 years) and found that regular consumption of green tea improved the function of the heart’s endothelial cells (cells lining the walls of blood vessels). Specifically, green tea consumed on three occasions at a dose of 6 grams, increased the flow-mediated dilation (FMD), a measure of the blood vessel’s ability to relax, by 3.9% within 30 minutes after consumption of the beverage.

• High Blood Pressure & Elevated Cholesterol: University of Florida (USA) researchers studied 52 healthy men and 72 healthy women, ages 21 to 70 years, assigning them to receive daily one of three green tea extract nutritional supplements, or placebo. After 3 weeks, those subjects who received the green tea supplements experienced reduced blood pressure [5 mmHg (systole) and 4 mmHg (diastole)], reduced total cholesterol [10 mg/dL], and reduced LDL (low-density, “bad”) cholesterol [9 mg/dL]. Further, after 3 months of supplementation with green tea extract, study subjects had a 12% lower oxidative stress marker as well as a 42% reduction in a chronic inflammation marker.

• Breast Cancer: A team from Vanderbilt School of Medicine (Tennessee, USA) studied 3,454 women with breast cancer, ages 20 to 74 years, and a comparable control group of 3,474 similarly aged women. All of the women were individually interviewed and their habits in drinking green tea were assessed. The team found that regular consumption of green tea was associated with a 12% reduction in the risk of breast cancer. In addition, premenopausal women reaped increased benefits relative to the number of years they had been regular green tea drinkers.

• Weight Loss: A team from Provident Clinical Research (Indiana, USA) assessed 107 subjects in a 12-week long study. Each study participant received either a green tea beverage containing 625 mg of catechins with 39 mg caffeine or a control beverage (39 mg caffeine, no catechins). During the study period, the subjects each completed 180 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week...

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