How to check your pulse and heart rate
What Your Heart Rate Says About Your Health
A new study suggests that you can get a sense of your diabetes risk by counting your heartbeats. The report, published in theInternational Journal of Epidemiology, detailed a study of more than 73,000 people. In it, researchers observed that fast heart rates were associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes.
The researchers also assessed seven older studies of nearly 98,000 people and found similar results. In that review, they noted that people with a faster heart rate had 59% higher risk of diabetes compared to those with slower heart rate.
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A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm)—most of us have a resting heart rate of 65 to 85 bpm, says Erica C. Jones, MD, director of Weill Cornell Medical College's HeartHealth Program. Those whose resting heart rate is over 85 have a higher chance of developing diabetes. The study found an association, she says, so it's hard to tell if an elevated heart rate leads to diabetes, or if diabetes causes a quicker heart rate.
Either way, if your resting heart rate is over 85, it'd be reasonable to check with your doctor about getting hemoglobin A1-C and fasting glucose level tests, especially if you have a family history of the disease, obesity or high triglycerides, she says.
MORE: 5 Surprising Symptoms Of Diabetes
To measure your resting heart rate, check your pulse and count the number of beats in a 15-second span and multiply that number by 4. Or use a heart rate monitor (some smartphones have them).
Jones said this isn't the first study to link resting heart rate with health ailments. The findings suggest that obesity and poor overall physical fitness may not only be a consequence of diabetes but may actually contribute to it, too.
Video: How to Check Your Heart Rate
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