Despite recent medical advances, the aging process still constitutes a phenomenon that raises many scientific doubts in the Health area. In recent decades, the number of elderly people has grown in almost all regions of the world, particularly where strategies to improve health conditions have been implemented.


For this reason, large-scale studies have been carried out on the different aspects of aging which is understood as a complex and multifactorial process, comprising biological changes and with consequences on the quality of life and general health status.


Heartbeats have been the object of study in the cardiovascular field for many years, and the aging population in Brazil – and a good part of the planet – leads us to question whether the aging process significantly changes heart rate?
The answer is yes. Through an analysis of the Mean Heart Rate (MHR) in a stratified sample of active and functionally independent individuals it is possible to conclude that the MHR decreases with advancing age.


In a recent study (ALMEIDA-SANTOS et al, 2013), a total of 1,172 patients over 40 years old underwent Holter monitoring and were classified by age group. MHR was assessed according to age and sex and with attention to hypertension, diabetes and other diseases. Various statistical methods such as ANOVA, correlation and linear regression were used in this research to obtain its results.

Thus, MHR tended to decrease with the age group and, surprisingly, hypertension, diabetes and other diseases did not influence the findings. Regarding gender, women had higher MHR values, regardless of age. The correlations between MHR and age or sex, although significant, were not statistically significant.

The aging process, therefore, is accompanied by many changes. With the increase in life expectancy, it is increasingly necessary to have an understanding and study of the health in elderly people. The case of heart rate is an example of this.

AUTHORS

Prof. Dr. Marcos Antonio Almeida Santos¹ ² ³, Antonio Carlos Sobral Sousa² ³, Francisco Prado Reis¹, Thayná Ramos Santos¹, Sonia Oliveira Lima¹, José Augusto Barreto-Filho ² ³.


E-mails: maasantos@cardiol.br, marcosalmeida2010@yahoo.com.br
Universidade Tiradentes¹; Universidade Federal de Sergipe²; Centro de Pesquisas da Clínica e Hospital São Lucas³, Aracaju, SE – Brasil.

Summary of the Article “Does the Aging Process Modify the Mean Heart Rate?”, published in the journal of the Brazilian Society of Cardiology, nº MCMXLIII, 2013. DOI: 10.5935/abc.20130188.