People who have a fast pulse rate even when resting are at an increased risk of dying early, experts have warned.
Studies carried out on middle-aged men in Denmark found that those with a resting heart rate of between 50 and 80 beats per minute (bpm) were 40 per cent more likely to die prematurely than those with a rate below 50.
A rare between 81 and 90 doubled the risk again, while it was three times greater in those found to have a resting heart rate of more than 90 bpm.
The research began in 1971 with 3,000 middle-aged men interviewed and tested. During 1985-86 they underwent further assessments and by 2001 40 per cent of them had passed away.
Dr Valerie Gladwell, senior lecturer in physiology at the University of Essex, said: "This is interesting and may suggest that individuals with heart rates greater than 90 may be more susceptible to death, maybe due to an imbalance of their nervous system."
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