A Fast Heart Rate Could Be Linked to Diabetes Risk

Screening individuals for their heart rate could help to identify those most at risk for diabetes, according to a large-scale study.

Published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the research suggests that a fast heart rate is associated with a 59 percent increased risk of diabetes.

"In this study, we measured resting heart rate among about 100,000 Chinese adults and followed them for four years," said senior study author Xiang Gao, associate professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State.

Additional beats per minute increase risk

According to Gao, participants in the study with faster heart rates not only had an increased risk for diabetes, but they were also more likely to have pre-diabetes turn into full-blown diabetes than people with slower heart rates.

"Each additional 10 beats per minute was associated with 23 percent increased risk of diabetes, similar to the effects of a 3 kilogram per meter square increase in body mass index," Gao said.

Fluctuations in blood sugar can cause heart rate to speed up or slow down, so using heart rate as another screening measure for diabetes may be helpful, Gao concluded.

"This suggests that faster heart rate could be a novel pre-clinical marker or risk factor for diabetes."

Source: Penn State

Image courtesy of Pong/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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