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Persistent Elevated Heart Rate Linked to Death

A persistent, elevated resting heart rate has been linked to a higher risk of death say researchers at NY-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Med. Ctr. who found that a heart rate greater than 84 beats per minute, that developed or persisted over the course of a five-year study, was associated with a 79 percent greater risk of death. "Heart rates can change day to day and year to year. It's like having a higher body temperature one day that goes away the next. Something caused the fever, but it has resolved, perhaps with treatment. Heart rate is the same over a longer time span. If it goes up and remains elevated, some disorder is likely to blame," says lead researcher Dr. Peter Okin who recommends tracking heart rate over time to determine at-risk patients.

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