The Association Between Heart Rate and Glycemic Status in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys

Sarah S. Casagrande, Catherine C. Cowie, Jay M. Sosenko, Kara Mizokami-Stout, Andrew J.M. Boulton, Rodica Pop-Busui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Context: Evidence suggests that heart rate (HR) is a prognostic factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), for which persons with diabetes are at increased risk. Objective: The objective of this article is to determine the association between HR and glycemic status in a nationally representative sample of US adults, and, among adults with diagnosed diabetes, the association between HR and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level. Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted. Setting: The setting of this study is the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 2011 to 2016. Participants: US general adult (age ≥ 20 years) population who had information on glycemic status based on self-report, HbA1c, and fasting plasma glucose (N = 8562). Intervention: There was no intervention. Main outcome measure: The main outcome measure of this study was mean HR (beats per minute). Results: After adjustment for examination time, age, other demographic characteristics, health insurance, health behaviors, body mass index, CVD and kidney disease, and taking antihypertensive medications, mean HR was significantly higher for those with diagnosed (75 bpm), undiagnosed diabetes (75 bpm), and prediabetes (73 bpm) compared to those with normoglycemia (71 bpm, P < .05 for all); this association was robust both for men and women. Mean HR increased with increasing HbA1c level among individuals with diagnosed diabetes independent of other risk factors (HbA1c < 7.0% [< 53 mmol/mol], 73 bpm vs A1c ≥ 11.0% [≥ 97mmol/mol], 79 bpm, P < .001); this association was most pronounced for women. Conclusions: Adjusted mean HR was higher among individuals with diabetes and increased glycemia, which may reflect underlying autonomic and/or myocardial dysfunction among those with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdgaa055
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 8 2020


  • diagnosed diabetes
  • epidemiology
  • glycemia
  • heart rate
  • undiagnosed diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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