Resting heart rate: A modifiable prognostic indicator of cardiovascular risk and outcomes?
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A growing body of evidence from clinical trials and epidemiological studies has identified elevated resting heart rate as a predictor of clinical events. Proof of direct cause and effect is limited, because current drugs that lower heart rate (eg, beta-blockers) have multiple mechanisms of action. A new class of drug, selective I(f) inhibitors, is under investigation as a 'pure' heart rate-reducing medication and will help confirm if there is a causal link between elevated heart rate and cardiovascular outcomes. The present paper reviews the evidence for elevated heart rate as a cardiovascular risk factor and some of the current clinical trials testing this hypothesis.
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