Exercise capacity and body mass index - Important predictors of change in resting heart rate

Michal Ehrenwald, Asaf Wasserman, Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty, David Zeltser, Limor Friedensohn, Itzhak Shapira, Shlomo Berliner, Ori Rogowski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Resting heart rate (RHR) is an obtainable, inexpensive, non-invasive test, readily available on any medical document. RHR has been established as a risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity, is related to other cardiovascular risk factors, and may possibly predict them. Change in RHR over time (ΔRHR) has been found to be a potential predictor of mortality. Methods: In this prospective study, RHR and ΔRHR were evaluated at baseline and over a period of 2.9 years during routine check-ups in 6683 subjects without known cardiovascular disease from the TAMCIS: Tel-Aviv Medical Center Inflammation Survey. Multiple linear regression analysis with three models was used to examine ΔRHR. The first model accounted for possible confounders by adjusting for age, sex and body mass index (BMI). The 2nd model included smoking status, baseline RHR, diastolic blood pressure (BP), dyslipidemia, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and metabolic equivalents of task (MET), and in the last model the change in MET and change in BMI were added. Results: RHR decreased with age, even after adjustment for sex, BMI and MET. The mean change in RHR was - 1.1 beats/min between two consecutive visits, in both men and women. This ΔRHR was strongly correlated with baseline RHR, age, initial MET, and change occurring in MET and BMI (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Our results highlight the need for examining individual patients' ΔRHR. Reinforcing that a positive ΔRHR is an indicator of poor adherence to a healthy lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number307
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2019


  • Body mass index
  • Exercise capacity
  • Heart rate
  • Prevention
  • Risk factors


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