Resting Heart Rate as an Important Predictor of Mortality and Morbidity in Ambulatory Patients With Heart Failure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
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BACKGROUND: Resting heart rate is a risk factor of adverse heart failure outcomes; however, studies have shown controversial results. This meta-analysis evaluates the association of resting heart rate with mortality and hospitalization and identifies factors influencing its effect. METHODS AND RESULTS: We systematically searched electronic databases in February 2019 for studies published in 2005 or before that evaluated the resting heart rate as a primary predictor or covariate of multivariable models of mortality and/or hospitalization in adult ambulatory patients with heart failure. Random effects inverse variance meta-analyses were performed to calculate pooled hazard ratios. The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach was used to assess evidence quality. Sixty-two studies on 163,445 patients proved eligible. Median population heart rate was 74 bpm (interquartile range 72-76 bpm). A 10-bpm increase was significantly associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio 1.10, 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.13, high quality). Overall, subgroup analyses related to patient characteristics showed no changes to the effect estimate; however, there was a strongly positive interaction with age showing increasing risk of all-cause mortality per 10 bpm increase in heart rate. CONCLUSIONS: High-quality evidence demonstrates increasing resting heart rate is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality in ambulatory patients with heart failure on optimal medical therapy, with consistent effect across most patient factors and an increased risk trending with older age.
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