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High Resting Heart Rate Spells Trouble for Women
Date:2/4/2009

ew York City.

"It's the same as in an athlete who is well-conditioned," Steinbaum said. "When you exercise, you increase the tone of the autonomic nervous system, which causes a decrease in heart rate and a decrease in blood pressure."

The autonomic nervous system controls such basic body functions as blood pressure and digestion. "Exercise is the most potent medication we have for improving autonomic function," Steinbaum said. "If we say that exercise is essential, we know why a lower resting heart rate leads to a better outcome."

More information

Cardiovascular risk factors for women are listed by the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Judith Hsia, M.D., AstraZeneca, Wilmington, Del.; Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., director, women and heart disease, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Feb. 4, 2009, BMJ, online


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