Effect of Reducing Heart Rate on Outcomes in Patients With Reduced Ejection Fraction.

Since 1953, sinus tachycardia has been defined as a heart rate (HR) in sinus rhythm of >100 beats per minute (bpm). However, this number has never been formally evaluated, and no established threshold values for special groups, such as those with heart failure (HF) accompanied by a reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Herein, we provided evidence that lowering the HR of patients with HFrEF to <70 bpm with medications such as ivabradine improves outcomes. Numerous large-scale trials and smaller clinical studies have shown that reducing the HR in patients with HFrEF improves cardiovascular and overall outcomes. Evidence suggests that a HR of <70 bpm is appropriate for patients with HFrEF. Examination of HF registries indicates that in a large proportion of these patients the HR exceeds 80 bpm, and no consideration is given to lowering the HR, due in large part to lack of physician awareness of the benefits of a lower HR. Evidence indicates that the first-line medication for lowering HR in patients with HFrEF is ivabradine. In conclusion, the improved prognosis following appropriate HR management in patients with HFrEF suggest that the cut-off value for sinus tachycardia in these patients should be redefined as 75 bpm. Maintaining a HR of <70 bpm in patients with HFrEF is associated with improved cardiovascular and overall outcomes.

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Authors: Wei-Ren Lan, Shu-I Lin, Feng-Ching Liao, Hung-Yu Chang, Cheng-Ting Tsai, Yih-Jer Wu, Ping-Yen Liu, Chen-Huan Chen, Ying-Hsiang Lee