Really? The Claim: A Normal Heart Rate Is 60 to 100 Beats a Minute
By ANAHAD O'CONNOR
The normal resting heart rate for an adult ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. But some researchers believe it may be time to re-examine what’s considered normal.
Researchers have found that a resting pulse at the upper end of “normal” may indicate a higher risk of stroke and heart disease. Some have linked it to a greater risk of diabetes and obesity. Instead of drawing the line at 100 beats per minute, some say, anything above 90 — and perhaps even 80 — may be considered cause for concern.
In one study published in The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, scientists followed 50,000 healthy men and women over two decades, looking at whether a resting heart rate at the upper end of normal increased the risk of dying of a heart attack. Just more than 4,000 of the subjects died of heart disease, and the authors found that resting heart rate was a good predictor: For each rising increment of 10 heart beats per minute, the risk of dying of a heart attack increased 18 percent among women and about 10 percent in men.
Another study, published in The American Journal of Hypertension, found that a large group of adults who started out with resting heart rates above 80 beats a minute were more likely to become obese and develop diabetes after two decades.
To lower the heart rate, try stepping up your cardio exercise, particularly with interval training, which is known to increase the amount of blood the heart pumps with each beat.
THE BOTTOM LINE
A resting heart rate above 80 beats a minute may be a red flag.