A higher heart rate has been shown to predict obesity that manifests 20 years later, reports a paper online in American Journal of Hypertension this week. The study, conducted in southwestern Japan, is one of the first clinical studies to assess the impact of higher heart rate on metabolism over time.
Heart rate is regulated by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) - a network of neurons that operate without conscious thought. Hisashi Adachi and colleagues found that participants with heart rates greater than 80 beats per minute had higher odds of developing insulin resistance and diabetes as well as cardiovascular problems. These findings provide a mechanism that might explain how obesity and the SNS are linked. This may, in turn, increase understanding of their causal role in the development of heart attack and stroke - the leading causes of death worldwide. The researchers hypothesize that excessive nerve activities may lead to obesity by lowering fat burning responses regulated by the SNS
Hisashi Adachi (Kurume University School of Medicine, Japan)(C) American Journal of Hypertension press release.
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