Saturday, April 3, 2010
Pulse may predict heart attack risk: researchers
"In an era of high-tech medical wonders, researchers have found an exquisitely cheap and easy way to predict a woman's risk of a future heart attack: Take her pulse. American researchers who assessed the resting heart rate of nearly 130,000 women and then followed them for an average eight years found those with the highest resting pulse - more than 76 beats per minute - were more likely to suffer a heart attack or die from coronary heart disease than women with the lowest - 62 beats per minute or less. Doctors have known for years that heart rate predicts heart attack risk in men. The higher a man's resting pulse, the greater his risk. According to the Framingham Heart Study, one of the world's longest-running health studies, men with a resting heart rate of 92 beats per minute or more are at increased risk of heart attack and other "coronary events." But, until now, there was no good evidence the same held true for women. The study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, involved 129,135 post-menopausal women with no history of heart problems who were participating in the Women's Health Initiative trial"