Faster Heart Rate May Predict Diabetes Development

Patients with a fast resting heart rate may have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Patients with a fast resting heart rate may have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Based on the results of a study published in The International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers posited that a fast resting heart rate could potentially be used to identify patients at risk of developing diabetes down the road.

Over a 4-year period, the researchers studied 73,357 patients whose heart rate was measured using electrocardiograms. Among this group were 4649 cases of diabetes, which was determined by the patients’ active use of diabetes medications or fasting blood glucose ≥7.0 mmol/l.

For each 10 beats per minute increase in heart rate, patients faced a 23% greater risk of diabetes, the authors found.

“We further combined our results with those of 7 previously published studies, including 97,653 men and women in total, on the same topic, and we found a similar association—individuals with fast heart rate had a 59% increased risk of diabetes relative to those with slow heart rate,” said senior study author Xiang Gao, associate professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State, in a press release.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 29.1 million Americans had diabetes in 2012. Of that total, 21 million were diagnosed, and 8.1 million were undiagnosed.

Jennifer Costello, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist in the Internal Medicine Faculty Practice at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, previously told Pharmacy Times that pharmacists can be instrumental in helping patients manage their diabetes in a number of ways, including encouraging adherence and providing education on goal values.