Study links diabetes risk with heart rate

23 May 2015

A new study linking heart rate and diabetes has suggested that the risk of a person developing the condition could be determined by evaluating the heart rate.

In a four-year study of 73,357 Chinese adults, Penn State researchers observed that there was  positive association of faster heart rates and increased risk of developing diabetes.

The researchers also found that faster heart rates were associated with impaired fasting glucose levels and a conversion from impaired fasting glucose levels to diabetes among the same population.

According to senior author Xiang Gao, they found participants with faster heart rates, suggesting lower automatic function, had elevated risk of diabetes, pre-diabetes and conversion from pre-diabetes to diabetes.

He added that each additional 10 beats per minute was associated with 23 per cent increased risk of diabetes, similar to the effects of a 3 kilogram per meter square increase in body mass index.

He said that this suggested that faster heart rate could be a novel pre-clinical marker or risk factor for diabetes.

The four-year study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. involved 73,357 Chinese adults and the results of the group were combined with data from seven previous studies involving almost 100,000 men and women.

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