Increased Resting Heart Rate in Men Connected to the Development of Mental Health Issues

The heart is definitely the second most important organ after the brain. Even a very small defect disrupting its function can have very severe consequences which could even lead to death. It is responsible for regulating our blood flow, so not only we have to make sure it remains in perfect condition but also monitor the rate at which it pumps blood all over the body.

The physical effects of a faulty heart have been documented extensively by modern medicine. However, a new study shows that an irregular heart rate can also be the cause of some mental health issues.

monitor-heart-rate-mainA team of Swedish medical researchers published the results of their study that lasted 41 years, from 1969 to 2010. During this time period, the blood pressure and heart rate of a little less than 2 million men were recorded. Then, with the help of the Swedish National Patient Register, it became possible to document the connection between various levels of blood pressure & heart rate and mental health problems. The results were interesting, to say the least.

According to the experts who analyzed the data, men who have an increased heart rate have more chances to develop obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), some type of anxiety disorder, depression and even schizophrenia. The possibility of developing one of the above conditions is raised by 5% for heart rates that are slightly above normal and can go up to 18% for men whose hearts beat way faster than the average.

OCD was found to have the largest degree of relation with increased heart rates since the research showed that 18 year old men whose hearts beat at above 82 beats per minute (bpm) have their OCD development risk increased by 69%.

On a related note, lower than normal heart rates may also have negative mental effects. They tend to cause disorders that lead to substance abuse.

Even though the study was literally huge, including a great number of people over an extended period of years, scientists claim that the results only apply to men. Women tend to have a higher average heart rate so the results probably don’t apply to them as well.

Scientific research is here to shed light on the most complicated mysteries of our era and also discover yet unknown ways in which our body functions. It is certain that future researches will offer us even more fascinating scientific data.

Alexandr Sedishev