Heart attack risk in women can be predicted with the help of a woman's resting heart rate, according to a new study.
The researchers have found that women with the highest resting heart rate i.e. more than 76 beats per minute were significantly more likely to suffer a coronary event than women with the lowest resting heart rate i.e. 62 beats per minute or less, reports the British Medical Journal.
During the study, the researchers assessed resting heart rate in 129,135 postmenopausal women with no history of heart problems.
Risk factors that might be expected to affect heart rate, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking and alcohol intake were taken into account at the start of the study.
The women were monitored for an average of 7.8 years.
They found that women with the highest resting heart rate were significantly more likely to suffer a coronary event.
Further analysis showed that this association was independent of physical activity, did not differ between white and minority women, or those with or without diabetes, but was stronger in women 50-64 years of age than among women 65 years or older.
The study has been published in bmj.