01 Oct High resting heart rate portends cognitive decline
A high resting heart rate proved to be a strong and independent predictor of cognitive decline within the next 4 years in a study of nearly 28,000 patients at high cardiovascular risk.
The clinical implications of this finding, however, remain unclear, according to Dr. Darryl P. Leong.
“What this study cannot answer, and which must be answered, is whether resting heart rate is just a marker of the risk of cognitive decline or whether it exists in the causal pathway. Further research is needed to determine if resting heart rate represents a therapeutic target to prevent cognitive decline. I think the only way to test this is with some intervention to reduce heart rate – whether using a beta-blocker or a medication such as ivabradine – to see whether or not it influences the incidence of cognitive decline,” he said in presenting the study findings at the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology.