Heart Disease, Heart Rate and Type 2 Diabetes

Heart rate when a person is at rest has long been known to be a predictor of heart attacks. In 2005 Professor Xavier Jouven of George Pompidou Hospital in Paris found that the risk of heart attack was four times greater than average in men whose hearts beat faster than 75 times per minute at rest. In 2009 almost identical results were found for over 129,000 women whose medical records were analyzed by Dr. Judith Hsia, a professor at George Washington University School of Medicine. Women with pulse rates of 76 or greater when at rest, had a much higher risk of heart attacks than those with pulse rates of 62 beats per minutes or less.

Type 2 diabetes is also associated with an increased risk of heart disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, adults with diabetes have 2 to 4 times the risk of death from heart disease than people without diabetes. Elevated blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels and alters the blood lipid levels. High triglyceride levels are really common in type 2 diabetics, as are low levels of the protective HDL. As well, hypertension affects almost 60 per cent of individuals with type 2. People who have diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than non-diabetics, and three quarters of all diabetics ultimately die from heart disease .

Researchers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN, USA and the Department of Epidemiology of the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China, looked at resting pulse rates and diabetes. Over 47,000 Chinese women were included in the study. Women with heart rates of 68 beats per minute or less were much less likely to acquire type 2 diabetes in the next 5 years, than were those with heart rates of over 80 beats per minute. Those with intermediate pulse rates had intermediate chances of acquiring type 2. Body mass index (BMI), hip to waist ratio, and blood pressure were also predictors of heart disease. The odds of getting type 2 were highest in women with the highest heart rates combined with highest body mass index, highest waist to hip ratio, or highest blood pressures.

To lower your heart rate, the best thing is aerobic exercise. By this, it is meant activities that make your heartbeat and breathing get faster during exercise. Walking briskly, swimming, and bicycle riding are all good aerobic exercises. Discuss with your doctor the right activities, and level of activity … even type 2 diabetics with very severe heart disease can benefit from some form of regular exercise, modified for their special needs.