Recent Blog Articles
Harvard Health Ad Watch: An upbeat ad for a psoriasis treatment
A new targeted treatment for early-stage breast cancer?
What is neurodiversity?
Thinking about holiday gatherings? Harvard Health experts weigh in
Time to stock up on zinc?
Recent study shows more complications with alternative prostate biopsy method
Walnuts: A worthy addition to your daily diet?
What it takes to achieve world-changing scientific breakthroughs
Do weighted blankets help with insomnia?
Careful! Health news headlines can be deceiving
Slower heart rate may translate into longer life, reports the Harvard Heart Letter
Your heart rate changes from minute to minute. It depends on whether you are standing up or lying down, moving around or sitting still, stressed or relaxed. When you have been at rest for a bit, the heartbeat settles down; this is your resting heart rate. Slowing it with exercise and stress reduction may help you enjoy more beats, reports the December 2008 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter.
Sixty years ago, researchers showed that men with fast resting heart rates were more likely to develop high blood pressure than those with slower rates. Since then, a high resting heart rate has been linked to atherosclerosis, sudden death, and an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Why? Each pulse of blood puts a mild stress on artery walls. More beats per minute means more stress. A faster heartbeat also gives the coronary arteries less time to fill with blood. This can lead to an imbalance between heart cells’ demand for oxygen and the heart’s ability to provide it.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!