The role of heart rate as a risk marker for predicting adverse outcomes

Hamill, Victoria (2016) The role of heart rate as a risk marker for predicting adverse outcomes. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Resting heart rate has been shown to be a strong and independent risk marker for adverse cardiovascular events and mortality, and yet its role as a predictor of risk is somewhat overlooked in clinical practice. With the aim of highlighting its prognostic value, the role of resting heart rate as a risk marker for death and other adverse outcomes was further examined in a number of different patient populations.

A systematic review of studies that previously assessed the prognostic value of resting heart rate for mortality and other adverse cardiovascular outcomes was presented. New analyses of nine clinical trials were carried out. Both the original and extended Cox model that allows for analysis of time-dependent covariates were used to evaluate and compare the predictive value of baseline and time-updated heart rate measurements for adverse outcomes in the CAPRICORN, EUROPA, PROSPER, PERFORM, BEAUTIFUL and SHIFT populations. Pooled individual patient meta-analyses of the CAPRICORN, EPHESUS, OPTIMAAL and VALIANT trials, and the BEAUTIFUL and SHIFT trials, were also performed. The discrimination and calibration of the models applied were evaluated using Harrell’s C-statistic and likelihood ratio tests, respectively. Finally, following on from the systematic review, meta-analyses of the relation between baseline and time-updated heart rate, and the risk of death from any cause and from cardiovascular causes, were conducted.

Both elevated baseline and time-updated resting heart rates were found to be associated with an increase in the risk of mortality and other adverse cardiovascular events in all of the populations analysed. In some cases, elevated time-updated heart rate was associated with risk of events where baseline heart rate was not. Time-updated heart rate also contributed additional information about the risk of certain events despite knowledge of baseline heart rate or previous heart rate measurements. The addition of resting heart rate to the models where resting heart rate was found to be associated with risk of outcome improved both discrimination and calibration, and in general, the models including time-updated heart rate along with baseline or the previous heart rate measurement had the highest and similar C-statistics, and thus the greatest discriminative ability. The meta-analyses demonstrated that a 5bpm higher baseline heart rate was associated with a 7.9% and an 8.0% increase in the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular death, respectively (both p less than 0.001). Additionally, a 5bpm higher time-updated heart rate (adjusted for baseline heart rate in eight of the ten studies included in the analyses) was associated with a 12.8% (p less than 0.001) and a 10.9% (p less than 0.001) increase in the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular death, respectively.

These findings may motivate health care professionals to routinely assess resting heart rate in order to identify individuals at a higher risk of adverse events. The fact that the addition of time-updated resting heart rate improved the discrimination and calibration of models for certain outcomes, even if only modestly, strengthens the case that it be added to traditional risk models. The findings, however, are of particular importance, and have greater implications for the clinical management of patients with pre-existing disease. An elevated, or increasing heart rate over time could be used as a tool, potentially alongside other established risk scores, to help doctors identify patient deterioration or those at higher risk, who might benefit from more intensive monitoring or treatment re-evaluation. Further exploration of the role of continuous recording of resting heart rate, say, when patients are at home, would be informative. In addition, investigation into the cost-effectiveness and optimal frequency of resting heart rate measurement is required. One of the most vital areas for future research is the definition of an objective cut-off value for the definition of a high resting heart rate.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: A version of the results presented in Chapter 8 Section 8.4 of the thesis have previously been published: Hamill V, Ford I, Fox K, Bohm M, Borer JS, Ferrari R, et al. Repeated heart rate measurement and cardiovascular outcomes in left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Am J Med. 2015; 128 (10): 1102-8.
Keywords: resting heart rate, prediction, risk, prognostic value, adverse outcomes, adverse events, cardiovascular disease, medical statistics, meta-analysis, hazard.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Robertson Centre
Supervisor's Name: Ford, Professor Ian and Barry, Dr. Sarah
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Miss Victoria Hamill
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7830
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2016 12:09
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2019 11:31

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